Drought May Spike Produce Prices

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Donovan Stanberry, says price increases should be expected for produce if the drought continues.

The cost of agricultural produce increased by as much as 4-hundred percent during last year’s prolonged drought.

Vendors indicated that the increases were caused by a shortage of items due to the drought.

Mr. Stanberry says the Ministry stands ready to ensure that the Jamaican people will have access to all food items.

Meanwhile, the drought affecting the island has been severely hampering the banana industry and could lead to price increases.

That’s according to the President of the All Island Banana Growers Association, Gretel Sessing.

Ms Sessing says there’s been a 30-per cent drop in banana production across the island with farmers in St. Mary the worst affected.

She says the main source of water for most farmers in St. Mary are the rivers — but those are running dry.