Jamaica: The nation has only one hectare rice field!


Jamaica: The nation has only one hectare rice field!

The map of Jamaica
            Depending on FAOSTAT 2012, there are 115 contries cultivating rice in the year 2010 in which Jamaica is the country having only one hectare of rice! Why is that?

Some about Jamaica

Jamaica (officially the Commonwealth of Jamaica) is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, 234 km (145 mi) in length, up to 80 km (50 mi) in width and 10,991 km2 (4,244 sq mi) in area (water 1.5 %). It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about 145 km (90 mi) south of Cuba, and 191 km (119 mi) west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean. It lies between latitudes 17° and 19°N, and longitudes 76° and 79°W. Mountains, including the Blue Mountains, dominate the inland. They are surrounded by a narrow coastal plain. Chief towns and cities include the capital Kingston, Portmore, Spanish Town, Mandeville, Ocho Ríos, Port Antonio, Negril, and Montego Bay.
Jamaica slowly gained increasing independence from the United Kingdom and in 1958, it became a province in the Federation of the West Indies, a federation among the British West Indies. Jamaica attained full independence by leaving the federation in 1962.
The climate in Jamaica is tropical, with hot and humid weather, although higher inland regions are more temperate. Some regions on the south coast, such as the Liguanea Plain and the Pedro Plains, are relatively dry rain-shadow areas. Jamaica lies in the hurricane belt of the Atlantic Ocean and because of this, the island sometimes experiences significant storm damage.
Jamaica's plant life has changed considerably over the centuries. When the Spanish arrived in 1494, except for small agricultural clearings, the country was deeply forested. The European settlers cut down the great timber trees for building purposes and cleared the plains, savannas, and mountain slopes for cultivation. Many new plants were introduced including sugarcane, bananas, and citrus trees.
Areas of heavy rainfall contain stands of bamboo, ferns, ebony, mahogany, and rosewood. Cactus and similar dry-area plants are found along the south and southwest coastal area. Parts of the west and southwest consist of large grasslands, with scattered stands of trees.
Among the variety of terrestrial, aquatic and marine ecosystems are dry and wet limestone forests, rainforest, riparian woodland, wetlands, caves, rivers, seagrass beds and coral reefs.
Jamaica’s population in 2010 (estimate): 2,847,232 (133rd).
Density: 252/km2 (49th) ~ 656/sq mi.
GDP (PPP) 2010 (estimate): Total $24.750 billion, Percapita $9,402.
GDP (nominal) 2010 (estimate): Total $14.807 billion, Percapita $5,029.
Jamaica is a mixed economy with both state enterprises and private sector businesses. Major sectors of the Jamaican economy include agriculture, mining, manufacturing, tourism, and financial and insurance services. Tourism and mining are the leading earners of foreign exchange. Half the Jamaican economy relies on services, with half of its income coming.

Jamaica’s rice cultivation history

In history Jamaica is one of the contries cultivating rice in the Caribbean area. Dating back to the 1960s and 1970s, several different forms of long-grain rice were grown in paddy fields along St Johns Road, near Dovecot, in the Hellshire hills, as well as on a 3,000-acre farm in Amity Hall. Some 230 acres of land at Shrewsbury and Roaring River yielded 560,000 pounds of rice in 1976. In the 1980s, rice cultivation started in George's Plain and Meylersfield, covering more than 1,800 acres of land. Along with BRUMDEC, which grew some 5,000 acres of paddy fields, another estimated 1,000 acres were grown in the parish.
The largest area of rice cultivation that Jamaica get on 1962 with 3,318 ha.
The highest yield of rice was 3,902.1 kg/ha on 1982 and the total of baddy rice was 5,588 tonnes on 1963.
But from 2005 to 2010 Jamaica has get only “one” hectare of rice every year! With the yield of rice only 2 tonnes/ha and the national total of rice only 2 tonnes!
This is the important problem for cultivating rice of the world. The answers can be explained by the the world rice scientists.
The following table shows the fifty year history of Jamaica’s rice cultivation:

Year
Area
(ha)
Yield
(kg/ha)
Production
(tonnes)
1961
3,237
1,506.6
4,877
1962
3,318
1,531.0
5,080
1963
2,549
2,192.2
5,588
1964
1,821
1,506.3
2,743
1965
1,619
1,506.5
2,439
1966
927
1,499.5
1,390
1967
480
1,535.4
737
1968
400
1,502.5
601
1969
470
1,512.8
711
1970
405
1,506.2
610
1971
320
1,518.8
486
1972
100
1,610.0
161
1973
140
1,742.9
244
1974
160
1,812.5
290
1975
1,400
1,900.7
2,661
1976
1,000
1,984.0
1,984
1977
600
2,185.0
1,311
1978
1,200
2,007.5
2,409
1979
600
2,028.3
1,217
1980
912
2,619.5
2,389
1981
747
2,490.0
1,860
1982
575
2,671.3
1,536
1983
868
3,902.1
3,387
1984
1,565
3,427.5
5,364
1985
1,403
3,036.4
4,260
1986
777
3,180.2
2,471
1987
1,092
2,066.9
2,257
1988
398
4,349.2
1,731
1989
154
3,350.6
516
1990
93
2,365.6
220
1991
208
2,701.9
562
1992
211
2,398.1
506
1993
86
3,127.9
269
1994
87
2,908.0
253
1995
65
2,430.8
158
1996
21
1,428.6
30
1997
18
1,611.1
29
1998
16
1,875.0
30
1999
29
1,069.0
31
2000
13
923.1
12
2001
24
1,375.0
33
2002
11
909.1
10
2003
13
1,076.9
14
2004
7
1,428.6
10
2005
1
3,000.0
3
2006
1
2,000.0
2
2007
1
2,000.0
2
2008
1
2,000.0
2
2009
1
2,000.0
2
2010
1
2,000.0
2
Source: FAOSTAT -2012

What is the future of Jamaica’s rice cultivation?

Jamaica's agriculture Minister Dr Christopher Tufton (2010) has expressed satisfaction with the progress being made by his ministry, as it seeks to fulfill its mandate of producing 25 % of the country's rice consumption needs within the next five to seven years.
According to Richard Saddler who heads the Jamaica Rice Industry Development Unit (JRIDU), a portion of the expected yield in November will be placed on the local market for consumption, while the remainder will be used as seedlings to cultivate more lands.
Jamaica spends roughly US$70 million annually to import approximately 100,000 MT of finished rice for local consumption, Saddler said.
AGRICULTURE MINISTER Roger Clarke (2012) said the Government is now formulating an ambitious plan to put 500 acres of land into rice cultivation by July and another 1,500 by December.
Clarke told The Gleaner a loan agreement was recently signed with the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) to provide between $120 and $150 million to fund the project.
"We have an agreement with the DBJ and we will start with the initial 500 acres, and then by December we should increase the number of acres under rice cultivation to 1,500 acres. This will move us closer to the first-phase target of 2,500 acres," Clarke said.
The agriculture minister said there should be a 15 per cent reduction inrice imports when the project is fully realised.
"Jamaica currently imports approximately 100,000 tonnes of rice annually and when we are at full production - that is the 2,500 acres - we should be able to cut our importation of the product by some 15 per cent."
Clarke said rice would be planted in Amity Hall and Hill Run, St Catherine; sections of Clarendon; Brumdec, St Elizabeth; and four areas in Westmoreland.
According to Clarke, cultivators should be able to reap rice as early as four months after the crop has been planted.
The rice-growing project was initiated by former agriculture minister Dr Christopher Tufton. At the outset, Jamaica Broilers Group invested J$5 million into the Amity experimental rice farm, which saw 25 acres being put into cultivation in 2009.
Expecting high yeilds
Nine varieties of rice from Guyana, the United States and the Dominican Republic were grown at the Government research station at Bodles, St Catherine to determine the most suitable.
At the time, Tufton said that it was hoped that the island's importation of the grain would be reduced by 25 per cent over a three-year period, noting that Jamaica would be able to produce at least six tonnes per hectare to match that of Guyana from where Jamaica imports the bulk of its rice.
Source: WESTERN BUREAU
References

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