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Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, has said that the agricultural sector has been responding positively and filling the void left by a fallout in other industries.
He pointed out that despite numerous challenges facing the productive sector throughout Jamaica, production within the agricultural sector has been steadfast and doing better than most of the other sectors.
“For the last two quarters, we saw positive growth in agriculture, and I can predict that come the end of the June quarter, we will see that trend continuing,” the Minister said.
He was addressing a Production and Marketing Organisation (PMO) Conference, held by the Ministry, in association with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), at the Trelawny multi-purpose stadium, on June 25.
Dr. Tufton credited the resilience and hard working attitude of the farmers throughout Jamaica for the level of agricultural production achieved, adding that if there was not growth in the sector, Jamaica would be in a perilous state today.
He stressed the importance of marketing within the farming community, arguing that proper marketing strategies will lead to improved economic benefits for the farmers. The Minister also said that if the country continues to record much growth in the sector, there would be many spinoffs to other areas of the society.
“Therefore, if we as a country can improve the lot of the farmer, there is no doubt in my mind that we could be improving the lot of the Jamaican people, and would be enhancing economic prosperity, not just in rural Jamaica, but across the length and breadth of this country,” he said.
Some 5,000 farmers from across the island were in attendance at the conference, which was held under the theme: ‘PMO: Farmers working together to feed the nation’.