My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How the Drought of 2015 means higher prices for Jamaican Christmas 2015 and Easter 2016

Monday, December 7, 2015

How the Drought of 2015 means higher prices for Jamaican Christmas 2015 and Easter 2016

Despite what the Ministry of Agriculture has to say about growth, very little has actually occurred in the Agriculture sector thanks to the Drought of 2015!

Claims of 3.3% growth in the third Quarter of 2015 are most likely true as stated by Minister of Agriculture Derrick Kellier, as the drought has stunted Jamaica's Agricultural growth potential as noted in the article “Agriculture Sector Remains Buoyant”, published November 26, 2015 By Garfield L. Angus, The Jamaica Information Service.

He made these comments at the Jamaica 4-H Clubs headquarters in St. Andrew on November 25, 2015 and also outlined plans for Jamaica's Agricultural sector:

1.      JA$3.4 billion has been spent on farm theft prevention systems and animal health
2.      JA$2 billion invested in irrigation in agro-parks and farming areas
3.      JA$216 million to revitalise the banana industry

Another JA$400 million is to be spent over the next four years on Bananas as the Ministry of Agriculture is apparently encouraged by the increase in export activity to the United Kingdom.

But nothing has been mention about measures to be taken to prevent the re-occurrence of the Drought of 2015.

Jamaican Food Shortage of 2015 – Why Pork, Chicken, Eggs and Sorrel to be expensive or in Short supply this Christmas

So let’s start by listing out all the current shortage in food that Jamaica can produce. This Christmas, a lot of Jamaican foods that we traditionally enjoy will be in short supply.

Pork has been in short supply since the start of April 2015, so expect prices for the meat to be high come Christmas Day as noted in my blog article entitled “Jamaican Pig Farmers say Pork Shortage over but Meat Processors worried – Why Possible Pork Price Profits for Pig Farmers this Christmas 2015”.

Chicken is also short ever since the Ministry of agriculture has banned Chicken from Canada and USA due to the H5N2 Virus as noted in my blog article entitled “Ministry of Agriculture bans US, Canadian Chicken Products - Why H5N2 Avian Flu is Shadows of 2014 Chicken Shortage during Easter 2015”. 

Eggs are now in short supply, albeit supplies are ramping up for the Christmas to the point that we're exporting to other Caribbean countries as noted in my blog article entitled “Jamaica Egg Industry boost Production for Christmas 2015 - Why H5N2 Avian Flu in USA and Canada boosting Caribbean Christmas Market”.
In fact, supplies are so short that unscrupulous persons have found it profitable to recover confiscated chicken and Eggs from the Riverton city Dump and resell it in the Downtown Market as reported in my blog article entitled “How Discarded Meat from Riverton City Dump is still being sold in Downtown Kingston”.  

In fact, it's so short to the point that it may have cause Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller to cancel the General Elections as explained in my blog article entitled “How Math, Sorrel Shortage of 2015, Dead Babies Scandal and Younger Voters stopped Jamaica's General Election 2015”.

The Great Drought of 2015 – Expect foods price increases come Easter of 2016

So love it or hate it, the problems being experienced by Jamaica's agricultural sector due to the Drought of 2015 will be felt and noticed not only in terms of the shortage of certain food items in Christmas, but by the higher than normal prices of most foods by Easter 2016!

Already the Minister of agriculture has called upon all Farmers to register with RADA (Rural Agricultural Development Authority) so that Jamaican can better plan for 2016 as noted in the article “Farmers urged to register with RADA”, published Sunday, December 06, 2015, The Jamaica Observer

Hopefully the Ministry of Agriculture, which now has the full attention of Derrick Kellier, will focus on recycling water from sewage as well as rainwater recycling to be used for drinking purposes as well as irrigation as suggested in my blog article entitled “Water Wastage at MICO - How Waste Water Recycling and Rainwater Harvesting benefits Agriculture”. 

We also need to find ways to more efficiently use our surface water that flows in rivers and streams as well as well as develope more plants that are resistant to salt and can be grown using seawater such as CARDI (Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute)'s Dasheen plant as noted in my blog article entitled “How CARDI's Salt Water loving Dasheen and Agricultural Towers can help Pacific islands and Jamaica during Drought”.

We also need to upgrade out irrigation system as clearly those old pipes cannot the pressure fluctuations due to the uneven water supply as noted in the article “Jamaica’s aging water systems falter under intense heat and drought”, published November 18th 2015, Caribbean 360.

Hopefully, in 2016, we would have begun to solve the water supply problem and work on water Distribution problem before the Drought of 2016 comes around once more.

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