Acting Agriculture Minister Derrick Kellier says the prevailing drought in Jamaica has resulted in the destruction of some 1,600 hectares of crops valued at nearly J$1 billion across the island.
Kellier, however, insists there is no shortage of ground food provisions in the country, despite the severe drought and a series of bush fires that destroyed several hundred acres of farmland.
Speaking at the annual three-day Denbigh Agricultural and Food Show held in May Pen, Clarendon, Kellier maintains there is an adequate supply of staples including pumpkin, yam, banana and plantain.
He says the agriculture ministry is predicting a 20 per cent decline in vegetable production.
The acting agriculture minister says several short-term mitigating strategies, in addition to long-term climate change adaptation initiatives, are being implemented.
He adds that the drought has not affected livestock and so there is an adequate supply of meat in the island. He says the agriculture ministry is monitoring the situation and will decide if there will be a need for minimal importation of some produce.