Gov’t Working to get Agricultural Lands Back into Production


Prime Minister P. J. Patterson has said that the government would be working to get the agriculture sector back into full production as quickly as possible following the devastation to farm lands by Hurricane Ivan.
Mr. Patterson, who was speaking to business operators in Negril yesterday (Sept. 15) at the Negril Gardens Hotel, said that the ministries of Agriculture, Commerce, Science and Technology and Finance, were involved in discussions this week, for a report to be presented to Cabinet on Monday, September 20.
He pointed out that the report would assist in determining what modifications, if any, were to be made to the import regime and stamp duty rates on certain imports.
He was quick to point out however, that no decision would be taken with regards to the importation of foodstuff, without due consideration of the implications to the local agricultural sector.
“That exercise (the meeting of ministries) is being undertaken with a policy decision that we have already made, that is to say, the emphasis must be on the full resuscitation of the agricultural sector in the shortest possible time”, the Prime Minister stated.
Meanwhile, the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) are conducting assessments to determine the extent of the damage to the sector by the hurricane and the impact on domestic and export crop production.

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