The Agriculture Ministry wants to see farmers planting more red peas.
Data from the ministry show a drastic reduction in production since 1999 moving from 1669 tonnes to 506 tonnes in 2008.
Meantime, importation of red peas increased by 395 tonnes last year over 2017.
The value of imports for the period moved from US$7.2 million to US$8.2.
Minister Without Portfolio in the Ministry of Agriculture JC Hutchinson says importation of red peas is unsustainable.
Mr. Hutchinson states that the ministry intends to increase local production of red peas and will be examining different varieties of peas that can be grown here.
He was addressing farmers and stakeholders at the launch of Home Grown Produce’s Red Peas Project in Spalding, Clarendon.
Through this project, Home Grown Produce, the enterprise arm of the Central Jamaica Social Development Initiative, is aiming to facilitate a guaranteed and consistent production and supply of red peas.
It has signed contracts with several farmers in Clarendon, St. Elizabeth, Manchester and St. Catherine.
In commending the company for its initiative, Mr. Hutchinson stated that there was a ready market for red peas and that the ministry would be including red peas as one of its priority crops