Significant Opportunities for Investment in Agriculture – Stanberry

Photo: Rudranath Fraser Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Donovan Stanberry (centre), engages in light conversation with (from left): Vice President for Export and Market Development at JAMPRO, Robert Scott; head of Farm Up Jamaica, Neil Curtis; Dr. Julius Garvey, son of Marcus Garvey, Jamaica’s first National Hero; and President of the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE), Dr. Derrick Deslandes. Occasion was a session exploring investment opportunities in the agriculture industry at the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, on July 25.

Story Highlights

  • Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Donovan Stanberry, is calling on members of the Diaspora to take advantage of the “tremendous” opportunities that exist for investment in agriculture.
  • He pointed to prospects in the cultivation of coffee and cocoa which, he noted, are in high demand around the world. Planting sugar cane for bioenergy is an area that holds promise, he noted further.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Donovan Stanberry, is calling on members of the Diaspora to take advantage of the “tremendous” opportunities that exist for investment in agriculture.

Such investment, he noted, could boost production and food security, cutting the country’s food import bill, which amounts to almost US$800 million annually.

“There is enormous opportunity for import substitution,” he pointed out.

Mr. Stanberry was addressing a plenary session of the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, on July 25.

He pointed to prospects in the cultivation of coffee and cocoa which, he noted, are in high demand around the world. Planting sugar cane for bioenergy is an area that holds promise, he noted further.

Mr. Stanberry told conference delegates that the production of food for the tourist sector is a significant area of opportunity.

He pointed out that only a “very small” percentage of food consumed by tourists is coming from local farmers. That is a captive market that we must exploit.”

The Permanent Secretary said the Government is committed to the development of the agriculture and has invested in the provision of irrigation systems for farming areas.

President of the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE), Dr. Derrick Deslandes, noted that Jamaica can be competitive in the growing of several crops, and what is needed is the confidence of the investing community.

“We believe that Jamaica can compete; we study prices, we look at Jamaica’s cost of production data…it is just a matter of convincing the right investors to invest in those critical areas that can move us forward,” he told the gathering.

Other speakers at the forum included head of Farm Up Jamaica, Neil Curtis, and Dr. Julius Garvey, son of Marcus Garvey, Jamaica’s first National Hero.

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