A large crowd of farmers packed Don Street’s Oddfellows Hall this week to learn more on discussions between the States and UK Government about future potato exports.
The meeting was organised by the States Food Production Committee, which was only formed in November last year. Under the leadership of Jurat Thomas Payn, it was entrusted with the important task of maximising production at a time when the war was causing a growing shortage of labour.
Those present heard that representatives of the British Board of Agriculture and the War Office had recently visited the island to discuss the matter of potato production. Their intention was to acquire a supply for the army, which meant increasing the volume grown. One way to achieve this was delaying lifting until July and August. This would mean farmers missing out on the valuable crop of ‘earlies’, although, the speaker noted, he had given assurance that local growers were willing and anxious to support the war effort.
Of course, he continued, there would be extra costs involved – through delays and extra spraying – which would need taking into consideration during negotiations on price.
A/E/10/4 contains a letter a UK Government department on the subject of purchase and supply of Jersey potatoes in 1917.