Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Dr Christopher Tufton says preliminary figures show, that there was a more than 20 per cent increase in domestic crop production for the first quarter of 2011, when compared to the similar period last year.
Tufton, who made the disclosure at the opening of the Montpelier Agricultural and Industrial Show on Easter Monday, said that the official data will be released in another two weeks.
He noted that the country's farmers continue to show resilience despite the challenges being experienced in the sector.
"Despite the most severe drought the country has seen over the past 20 years and the most rainfall in a short space of time culminating with Tropical Storm Nicole last year our farmers were resilient and were able to deliver," Tufton told the gathering.
He commended the organisers of the Montpelier Agricultural, Livestock and Industrial Show, saying that the event was far better than the one he attended there last year.
"I really want to commend the organisers for the efforts that they have put out. The produce are well laid out, it is easy to manoeuvre; excellent agricultural produce are on display; you are cooking up come nice food so that the people can taste and the kids can have a nice area to relax and I am happy to see that there is no 'bend down market' and plastic goods made in foreign countries on display," he declared.
The show, he added, was "a step in the right direction" and is moving where the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) and the Ministry of Agriculture want to take the event.
Tufton's commendation was in stark contrast to comments he made at last month's staging of the Hague Agricultural and Livestock Show in Trelawny.
At that time, the minister criticised the event for being poorly organised and vowed not to attend any similar event until a restructuring exercise is undertaken.
On Monday, Tufton said an agreement had been reached with his ministry and the JAS for a revamping of how farm shows are done.
And Member of Parliament for South St James Derrick Kellier, in whose constituency the Montpelier Agricultural, Livestock and Industrial Show was held, also commended the organising committee for the improvements in this year's staging of the event.
Glendon Harris, the President of the St James Association of Branch Societies -- organisers the event -- said the association has been working assiduously for the show to get bigger and better ever year.
"We have been trying to keep agriculture alive over the years, and we will continue to show our resilience by tilling the soil," said Harris, who is also the president of the JAS.
Several persons who attended the event told the Observer West that the displays and agricultural produce were of a high standard this year.
The show was held under the theme: "Eat what we grow, grow what we eat."