JIS News

Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding says that from a macro- economic standpoint, the survival of countries like Jamaica demands a new strategic focus on agriculture.
Mr. Golding was speaking last night at the opening of the 5th Hemispheric Meeting of Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas and the 15th regular meeting of the Inter-American Board of Agriculture. The week-long meeting at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Montego Bay St. James, is being attended by delegates from 34 countries of the Americas.
Mr. Golding said that “even as we contemplate the impact of the global recession, the momentum we thought we were on, may have been disturbed and disrupted, but our response cannot be to wring our hands in despair”.
“Indeed for the very reason of that dislocation and the setback we have suffered, we should see those as a cause to redouble our efforts to build our capacity so we can secure a better quality of life for our people,” he stated.
He said that the need was now more compelling to improve food security in the region, a call made earlier by the Secretary General of the Organisation of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza and the Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture (IICA), Dr Chelston Braithwaite.
He noted further that the region had failed to utilise the natural gifts of a good supportive climate for agriculture.
The Prime Minister cited some of the challenges, which may have prevented Jamaica from becoming an agriculture-producing powerhouse and which would have ensured that after the recession has ended, the country could find its way on a path of sustained growth.

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