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Roots & Tuber value chain/Jamaica – Beauregard potatoes variety to boost production

14 December 2015

Reaping of the first batch of the Beauregard potatoes is under way at the Jamaica producers’ farms in the county of Middlesex. This new variety of sweet potato has been introduced by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries through its Clean Seed Programme, in a bid to expand the export market for sweet potatoes. Speaking during a tour on the farm, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries expressed appreciation to Jamaica producers for partnering with the Ministry on this project and outlined that markets have been identified for at least 200 acres of Beauregard sweet potato. The Minister said, the government has invested on infrastructures to produce high quality planting material and to provide technical assistance to improve farmer’s yield and ultimately farmer’s earnings. This project, which is aimed at improving farmers’ ability to earn foreign exchange while expanding the export market, is being carried out in collaboration with a number of critical partners that provide financial, technical and scientific resources, including the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Newport Fersan and The Promotion of Regional Opportunities for Produce through Enterprises and Linkages (PROPEL ). Jamaica Producers Tropical Foods Ltd, Valley Fruits and the Ebony Park Farmers’ Co-operative are among a number of large and small farmers inside and outside of the agro-parks who are planting this new variety of sweet potato for which harvesting and export is being carried out. According to the manager of JP Tropical Foods, at the end of the reaping of first 10-acre pilot is expected to produce 100 root tonnes of Beauregard sweet potatoes to be available in the market. The Beauregard sweet potato was imported from the United States as requested by the Fresh Produce Consortium of the United Kingdom, an association which includes retailers, distributors, importers, wholesalers, processors, packers and food service companies, after discussions with potato farmers to export sweet potatoes from Jamaica to the UK.



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