Welcome relief for farmers, agri minister re reduced fertiliser prices Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Two farmers, representing the sector, are welcoming the Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry’s recent announcement that there will be a third cut in fertiliser prices this year.

Amid rising input prices for farmers, fertiliser manufacturer Newport-Fersan Jamaica Limited announced relief for farmers with a price reduction on the critical farm input, disclosed the Agriculture Ministry in a recent statement.

As a result, farmers will now see an average price reduction of between two to 11 per cent on traditional standard NPK granular fertilisers.

The ministry did not provide the numerical value of the decreases.

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Pearnel Charles Jr, expressed pleasure with the reduction in the prices by Newport-Fersan Jamaica Limited.

“It is timely and will help to cushion the impact of getting back into the fields at a quicker pace following the recent effects of adverse weather systems,” Charles Jr was quoted as saying in the statement.

“As farmers get back into production quickly, this may mitigate price increases on crops and supply concerns of scarce produce,” he declared.

The price adjustment will also be extended to Fersan’s Booster Line of fertilisers, the new prices of which will be between three to 14 per cent lower than some traditional granular standard fertilisers.

The two farmers welcomed the news of the reduction in fertiliser prices.

“If it’s true, that would really be great, because trust me, it (fertiliser) did too expensive man,” one farmer, who only identified himself as ‘Roy’, told Loop News.

The St Elizabeth-based farmer explained that the pricing for fertiliser depends on the crop it is being applied to, as well as the brand being used.

“Quarter bag was almost $4,000, and that’s just 25 pounds,” he said, adding that he generally uses the product on carrots and tomatoes.

A St Catherine-based farmer said although fertiliser has been costly, especially since the COVID pandemic, they would usually purchase a “half bag of fertiliser”, instead of a 110-pound bag of the item.

“A the quarter bag most a wi down to now, and the price depends on where you buy it. Can be between $3,000 to $4,000, while you can get the half bag for between $6,000 to $7,500, and it depends on where you buy.

“So, if the prices really going drop, is a welcome, welcome news that to us right now, ’cause everything expensive these days, bush-wise,” he shared.

When Loop News enquired from a farm store in St Catherine, a 50-pound bag of fertiliser for tomatoes was priced at $7,525 or $7,395.

However, the representative, like the farmers who were interviewed, pointed out that fertiliser prices vary, and usually depend on the specific brand and crops it is to be applied to.

Meanwhile, Charles Jr said the Government remains committed to providing help to the farmers.

“With our thrust for improving food security depending heavily on our farmers producing what we eat, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries continues to work tirelessly to provide support for our farmers during this critical time.

“This reduction in fertiliser (prices) will greatly contribute to our farmers’ ongoing efforts and rising productions levels, and we look forward to more news of this kind from other suppliers in the sector,” stated Charles Jr.

Earlier this year, there were concerns about price increases for fertiliser and other agricultural inputs as a result of supply chain disruptions that were caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

However, since May of this year, the prices of fertiliser have been decreasing.

Speaking in June, Charles Jr announced that effective June 23, there would a 4.5 per cent reduction in fertiliser prices.