Agriculture Ministry investigating unusual conditions affecting yam crops across the island

The Ministry of Agriculture says it is investigating unusual conditions affecting yam crops across various regions of the island. 

This, amidst recent reports from local farmers indicating the presence of atypical symptoms affecting the leaves of yam plants. 

The Ministry says the symptoms include unusual spots on leaves which may be attended by a general plant decline which could potentially impact crop yields.

It notes that through collaborative efforts with its agencies including the Plant Quarantine and Produce Inspection Branch, it is currently conducting a thorough investigation to determine the nature and extent of these conditions.

The Ministry says the primary goal is to accurately diagnose the symptoms being reported to assess the potential impacts on yam production, and to develop integrated management strategies that will effectively address the issue without causing undue disruption to the agricultural community.

Farmers and stakeholders within the agricultural sector are being urged to report any unusual symptoms observed in yam crops, especially leaves since tubers do not appear to be impacted at this time.

The Ministry stresses that  early reporting will greatly assist in the timely identification and management of the condition.

The Ministry adds that it is dedicated to resolving this situation with utmost urgency and efficiency.

It notes that it is exploring all possible avenues including advanced scientific analysis, research and international collaboration to ensure that comprehensive and sustainable solutions are identified and implemented.

Meanwhile, President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society, Lenworth Fulton, has confirmed that the condition has been noted in several varieties of soft yams.

He notes that samples have been taken from several farms for testing.

Mr. Fulton says a similar problem is affecting sorrel farmers.

He notes that impacted yam plants have been found in several central parishes, while impacted sorrel plants were mostly seen in Clarendon.

The JAS President is hopeful that the impact on yam production will be minimal.


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