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January 17, 2013
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Agriculture minister challenges farmers to produce more
Christopher Serju, Star Writer


Manuel Nuņez (left), marketing campaign coordinator for Syngenta, which produces Revus a fungicide, and Engeo, a foliar insecticide, distributed by AgroGrace, seems to have a hard time convincing Pat Rose during Tuesday's local launch of the products at the company's office at 697 Spanish Town Road. - Christopher Serju

Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke has challenged farmers and the public in general to play their part in helping the country to achieve self-sufficiency in crop production, which is key to realising the overall goal of food security.

Noting that at this point the role of the agricultural sector is critical to Jamaica's development, he said, whether or not Jamaica has an IMF (International Monetary Fund) agreement, its people must be fed. To this end, it was important that idle lands be matched with idle hands to get on with the job of feeding the nation.

"Every man in Jamaica should try to be producing something now. Instead of waiting to hear whether we sign IMF agreement, because whether we sign or not, people have to eat," he told Tuesday's launch of two products at AgroGrace's office at 697 Spanish Town Road,. St Andrew.

The company will distribute Revus a fungicide, and Engeo, a foliar insecticide, both of which are produced by Syngenta, a world-leading agricompany which markets seeds and pesticides.

Minister Clarke used the occasion to remind farmers of the importance of adhering to the manufacturers' instructions when using chemicals. He warned against the practice of some who in their own wisdom decide that the recommended dosage is not strong enough, and so they increase it. On the other hand, there are those who choose to 'stretch' the formulation, usually citing expense, and in the process diluting the product to the extent it loses its effectiveness.

The agriculture minister warned against either extreme, citing the importance of accurate and timely dispensation of all farm chemicals.

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