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Agriculture Minister requests probe into complaints by St. Thomas onion farmers

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Pearnel Charles Jr. says he has requested an investigation into claims by onion farmers in St. Thomas that they are struggling to find a market for their onions.

The farmers staged a protest on Monday and called for assistance from the authorities.

The farmers claimed the importation of onions has resulted in them being unable to find a market for their produce.

But during a meeting with the farmers in Yallahs on Wednesday, Mr. Charles refuted that claim, saying the country has not imported onions since the start of the year.

He insisted that the Ministry of Agriculture has "given farmers in St. Thomas maximum support", adding that the parish is the "epicentre of onion growth for the Caribbean, not just Jamaica". 

You are growing more in St. Thomas than anywhere in the Caribbean, and we intend to make St. Thomas the strongest producers of onion. We will not need to import one container of onion in this country when we finish planting in St. Thomas," the minister pronounced.  

He said a "thorough" investigation will be carried out to determine the cause of the farmers' issue so a resolution can be found.   

He assured the farmers that he has identified buyers for their produce.