Jamaica is located south of Cuba and west of Haiti. It is the largest of the English-speaking islands in the Caribbean, covering a total land area of 11,000 km² (4,411 mi²). The interior is very mountainous with the Blue Mountain Peak, rising to a height of 2,256 m. The average annual rainfall is 1,000 mm (36 in). Jamaica’s economy is heavily dependent on services, which accounted for 64% of GDP in 2009, and the country continues to derive most of its foreign exchange from tourism, remittances, and bauxite / alumina. During 2009 the Jamaican agricultural sector recorded some 13% growth and also showed decline of 75% in fresh food imports. This has been attributed to the “Eat what we grow” campaign launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. Agriculture contributed 6% to the GDP in 2009, and still employs some 17% of the population. Investment in the sector is being encouraged as a viable option particularly since more traditional investment areas have been affected by the global recession. Leading commodities include sugar, bananas, coffee, cocoa, citrus, pimento, yams, vegetables, poultry, goats, milk, crustaceans, and molluscs.
CARDI Jamaica is involved in diverse areas of research and development in support of the Region’s agriculture. These areas include the commodities Sweet Potatoes and Small Ruminants, the thematic areas of Natural Resource Management and Emerging Issues / ‘New Agriculture’. The Jamaica Unit is an important site for the development of the regional sweet potato industry. It is also one of two Units (the other one being Trinidad and Tobago) involved in the development of the regional small ruminant industry. The other areas of activities are soil and water management, undercover/protected agriculture (greenhouse), herbals, organic agriculture, invasive species and climate change.
- Develop and transfer feed and feeding systems technologies
- Demonstrate small ruminant value added production
- Develop and distribute improved breeds
- Transfer production systems tech-packs to industry stakeholders
For highlights of work by the CARDI office in Jamaica, Click here
Dr Leslie Simpson
P.O. Box 113
Phone: (876) 927-1231
Fax: (876) 927-2099