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The Ministry of Agriculture and Lands held its third investment road show in Montego Bay on (Nov. 3), with several farmers, potential investors, technical officers and other sector stakeholders in attendance.
The shows, which are being held across the island, are aimed at harnessing greater private investment in agriculture, by highlighting opportunities in the sector where profit-making exist.
Agriculture Minister, Roger Clarke, in his remarks at the event held at the Wexford Court Hotel, urged greater investment in the sector, noting that agriculture in Jamaica had tremendous potential.
According to Minister Clarke, there was high local and international demand for Jamaican produce, which the sector was unable to fill on a consistent basis.
“The market is there, the potential is there, we have lands and we have idle hands, therefore there are opportunities in the agricultural sector,” he pointed out.
He told the potential investors that the government was committed to providing the framework for the development of the sector.
As such, he said, a new agricultural development strategy has been put in place, which is designed to “move the sector forward in a substantial way”, while focus was being placed on modernization, through the development of greenhouse and other technologies. The modernization of the sector, he said, was not to displace small farmers, “but the stage we have reached now, demands a new agriculture”.
The Montego Bay road show featured presentations on the commercial viability of scotch bonnet pepper; vegetable production utilizing protected cultivation; development of a fruit tree crop industry; the beekeeping industry; sheep and pig production; and land availability and capability.