Agricultural Ministry to Strengthen Capacity of Farmer Organizations


Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Donavon Stanberry, has said that the Ministry will be working with all farmer associations and cooperatives islandwide to strengthen their capacity to assist them to better manage their affairs.
Speaking at the annual general meeting of the Agri-Business Council of Jamaica today (June 15), at the Terra Nova hotel in Kingston, Mr. Stanberry noted that this move was expected to enhance the ability of these organizations to control every facet of their affairs from production to processing, through to distribution and marketing.
He noted that as part of the effort, the Ministry has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the All-Island Jamaica Cane Farmers Association (AIJCFA).
“The sector needs a higher level of organisation and management and we must stop being pastoral about management. The fact that you are a good farmer does not make you a good manager. We need to shift and start thinking commercially and you don’t even have to go to business school for that,” Mr. Stanberry pointed out.
In the meantime, the Permanent Secretary has reaffirmed the government’s commitment to undertake a study to assess the feasibility of rationalizing all the entities that provide services to farmers, by creating a one-stop facility that provides technical expansion, marketing and business services in an integrated way.
Minister of Agriculture and Lands, Roger Clarke first made the announcement during his contribution to the 2007/08 Budget Debate in Parliament in April.
This study will be carried out in collaboration with the Development Bank of Jamaica and will include the Rural Agricultural Development Agency (RADA); Agriculture Credit Board; Agricultural Development Corporation; Marketing and Credit Division; Research and Development Division; Agri-Business Council; and the Agricultural Marketing Corporation.

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