My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How Solar Farming can make Ministry of Agriculture School Feeding Program a success

Friday, July 5, 2013

How Solar Farming can make Ministry of Agriculture School Feeding Program a success

“It's not about cost reduction. What the school-feeding programme aims to do is to see how we can incorporate local production in the school system and aid in the development of our children”

Excerpt from comments by the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Roger Clarke at the Gleaner Editors Forum on Wednesday July 3rd 2013

Thanks to the poor Farming practices of Jamaican Farmers which haven’t changed for quite awhile and the lack of coordination by the GOJ (Government of Jamaica) specifically as it relate to the Ministry of Agriculture, Jamaica isn’t tapping into the export earning potential of Agriculture. We still have an Agricultural system that still thinks too local and produces products when markets aren’t available, resulting in a Glut of products for livestock to Ground provisions.

An excess of anything on a market results in the market moving from a Seller’s Market i.e. the sellers can dictate the prices based on Supply and Demand Economics to a Buyer’s Market. Thus a glut is an extreme case of this excess and as such results in the Market becoming a Buyer’s Market and extremely low prices are the result. Especially when the excess Agricultural product is of a quality where it can’t be exported but is STILL edible!

All of which could be avoided via the adoption of Solar Farming Methods as described in my Geezam blog article entitled “Solar Powered Organic Farming – Sustainable Agricultural Development and Jamaica’s Food Security”. All the water you’d ever need could be made via Solar Desalination of Water from any source as argued in my Geezam blog article entitled “How to Make Distilled Water using a Solar Desalinator”.

Agricultural waste could also be pyrolized in a Vacuum Chamber using concentrated Solar Radiation to make fertilizer and Oleum in my blog article entitled “How to upgrade your Solar Desalinator to a Solar Cooker and make a Solar Foundry for Vacuum Pyrolysis”.

A similar situation is happening in the Egg Farming and Fruit Farming as well as it relates to a glut on the market. An since the year has began the Ministry of Agriculture has moved to correct anomalies in the Farming Sector and address the issue of overproduction of farm produce for which there is no market.

So much so that the Minister of Agriculture Roger Clarke has finally approve the use of excess Fruit to make Fruit Juices in the School Feeding Program as per the article “Local fruit juices to finally flow into schools September”, Published Friday July 5, 2013, Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer, The Jamaica Gleaner. This is in keeping with a promise made earlier in January 2013 and re-iterated in May 2013 to approve the production of Fruit Juice Concentrate as noted in the article “Fruit purée project gets nod”, Published Wednesday May 8, 2013, The Jamaica Gleaner.

There are also plans for the use of Liquified Eggs to make Nutri-buns for the School Feeding program Since January 2013 as noted in the articles “Cabinet gives nod to liquid eggs - Local product to replace imported butter oil in nutri-buns”, published Thursday January 24, 2013, Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner

The current glut in Pork in Jamaica as note in the article “Farmers struggle as glut puts freeze on pork demand”, published Friday July 5, 2013, Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner is being handled via the Ministry of Agriculture seeking export opportunities for the excess Pork in Jamaica, albeit the School Feeding Program cannot be used for this purpose. That glut is again the result of the Ministry of Agriculture not taking advantage of any export opportunities to the Caribbean and the Commonwealth and even to the US via compliance with their export regulations.

Local Consumption of pork is low averaging 6Kg per person in Jamaica when compared to 45kg per person worldwide as per the article CB spent $400m to get more Pork eaters”, published Wednesday, April 06, 2011, The Jamaica Observer.

In my blog article entitled Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Pork PR for increased Production - Jamaicans don’t like Pork Because they cannot cook it”, I’ve argued that it’s because Jamaicans cannot cook Pork, as it’s not an easy meat to prepare. Combined with dietary requirements of many Jamaicans and growing up in households where Pork is not religiously consumed in most cases because of religious obligations, Pork’s glut isn’t surprising.  

Thus the solution becomes clear: Export and lowering the production costs associated with Pork Production will save Pig farmers in the long run. A switch to Solar Farming methods that utilize all the waste products from Farming is also the way to go to make Fruit and Egg Farming more efficient in terms of monetizing glut and export ready with a reduced use of Pesticides and Fossil fuel based inputs as my Geezam blog article entitled “Solar Powered Organic Farming – Sustainable Agricultural Development and Jamaica’s Food Security” argues.

Solar Farming in Fruit, Egg and Pork Production will make Jamaica Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013) as it relates to our Food Security.

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