‘Opportunity to provide more food’ says Minister Harris

ZIZ News…Dec 18, 2010 – Even as he praised the farmers for their outstanding work for the year so far, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, Senior Minister, and Minister of Agriculture says there is still a room for existing farmers to produce more. Examining the statistics, Dr Harris said that domestic production in several crops was far from the domestic demand reflecting opportunities for market led production.

To demonstrate his point, Dr Harris presented the production statistics for 2010 and the estimated demand.

CROP
2010 Production (kilos)
National Demand
(kilos)

Opportunity for More (kilos)

Cabbage
36,500
156,000
(119,500)
Carrot
139,600
174,000
(34,400)
Sweet pepper
22,600
96,000
(73,400)
Tomato
118,900
156,000
(37,100)
Onion
32,600
324,000
(291,400)
Peanuts
56,500
90,000
(33,500)
Pumpkin
200,000
156,000
44,000
Sweet potato
198,400
492,000
(293,600)
White potato
73,400
600,000
(526,600)
Watermelon
125,000
300,000
(175,000)
Yam
26,600
72,000
(45,400)

For 2010, the Central Bank recorded improved production compared to 2009 for carrots, tomatoes, pumpkins, yam, sweet potatoes and peanuts.

Dr Harris said that variability of weather, plus inadequate technology and infrastructural supports continue to limit agricultural output.

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