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Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, has lauded the work of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in Jamaica.
Speaking recently with the Executive Vice-President of CIDA, David Maloney, in Ottawa, Canada, Dr. Tufton said one of the projects being financed by the Canadian government, through CIDA, has added value to the Agriculture sector.

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Christopher Tufton (left) during a meeting with the Canadian representative of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA), Dr. Michael Bedoya.

The project involved the establishment of two packaging houses to assist in post-harvest packaging and distribution.
Dr. Tufton noted that a lot of Jamaican crops are lost to improper post-harvest handling and storage, and the hope is that the packaging houses will be a model for international standards.
He thanked the former Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica, Denis Kingsley, for doing the groundwork and the current High Commissioner, Stephen Hallihan, for continuing the work.
Dr. Tufton was on an official visit to Canada, recently, where he met with several officials in Toronto, Guelph and Ottawa, including Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Hon. Gerry Ritz; Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Hon. Carol Mitchell; the Canadian representative of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, Dr. Michael Bedoya; and the Acting President of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Lauchlan Munro.

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Christopher Tufton (fourth right) pictured following a meeting with the Acting President of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Dr. Lauchlan Munro (third left). Others in the picture are, from left, Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency Sheila Sealy Monteith; Director of the Centre of Excellence for Advanced Technology in Agriculture, Dr. Derrick Deslandes; Programme Leader at the IDRC, Dr. Dominique Charron; Director of the Science Policy Program at the IDRC, Naser Faruqui; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Donovan Stanberry; and Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr. Marc Panton.

Dr. Tufton said it was important to meet with some of Jamaica’s critical stakeholder partners and explore new opportunities in Canada. He said the full success of the visit will be determined by the level of follow-up that is done.
During his nine-day visit to Canada, Dr. Tufton not only met with potential investors, but also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University of Guelph.
The MOU will concretize an understanding between the Ministry of Agriculture and the university on a number of critical issues in the Agricultural sector, the Minister said.

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Christopher Tufton (right) and Permanent Secretary, Donovan Stanberry (left), reunite in Ottawa, Canada, with former Jamaica Country Representative for the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA), Cynthia Currie (centre).

“I am hoping that out of that MOU, we will see a delegation coming down to Jamaica soon and, hopefully, some collaboration between ourselves and the university in the interest of both countries,” he said.
Dr. Tufton also visited some goat and cattle farms to look at some of the latest technology for herd multiplication. The Ministry is planning some training, especially for goat farmers to get them to invest more in the industry and embrace some best practices.
The Agriculture and Fisheries Minister also celebrated Jamaica’s 48th Independence anniversary with Jamaicans living in Ottawa.
The Minister’s delegation included Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries officials: Permanent Secretary, Donovan Stanberry; Chief Technical Director, Dr. Marc Panton; and Director of the Centre of Excellence for Advanced Technology in Agriculture, Dr. Derrick Deslandes. Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency Sheila Sealy Monteith, and Consul General in Toronto, Seth George Ramocan, were also involved.

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