Agriculture Minister Commends Farmers

Photo: Mark Bell Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw (left), accepts a basket of food from National Farm Queen 2017, Truddiann Ashmead (right), during the launch of Farmers’ Month on April 4 at the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) headquarters on Church Street in downtown Kingston. At centre is President of the JAS, Norman Grant.

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, has praised the country’s farmers for their hard work, which has resulted in significant economic gains.
  • “We recognise its [agriculture] value as an enabler for rural development and as an engine of growth for the overall economy and for the lives and livelihoods of Jamaicans,” the Minister said.
  • Meanwhile, President of the JAS, Norman Grant, also expressed his gratitude to the more than 250,000 farmers and fisherfolk who continue to make a major contribution to the development of the Jamaican economy, notwithstanding the constraints that affect the sector.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, has praised the country’s farmers for their hard work, which has resulted in significant economic gains.

Speaking at the launch of Farmers’ Month at the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) offices on Church Street in downtown Kingston on April 4, the Minister pointed out that the achievements by the farmers have been made despite challenges.

He identified some of the issues as lack of access to flat fertile lands, credit, crop insurance, appropriate technology, improved farm road network, cheaper cost of funding; and praedial larceny.

“We recognise its [agriculture] value as an enabler for rural development and as an engine of growth for the overall economy and for the lives and livelihoods of Jamaicans,” the Minister said.

The agricultural sector contributes over seven per cent to the gross domestic product (GDP) and accounts for 20 per cent of the labour force.

Meanwhile, President of the JAS, Norman Grant, also expressed his gratitude to the more than 250,000 farmers and fisherfolk who continue to make a major contribution to the development of the Jamaican economy, notwithstanding the constraints that affect the sector.

“As we celebrate the 35th Farmers’ Month, let us uplift the achievements of our farmers and remember that farming is our heritage and food is our culture,” the JAS President said.

Farmers’ Month is celebrated annually in April, to recognise the contribution of Jamaica’s farmers to national development.

The month of activities, which commenced on April 2 with the St. Mary Agricultural Expo, will also feature events to be held across several parishes.

Among them are training for pig farmers on April 10 and plant nutrition training on April 18. . These events will take place in Portland.

Other activities are a presentation on greenhouse operation on April 17 in St. Ann, a farmers’ training workshop on April 11 in St. Mary, a health fair on April 25 in Hanover, and the Farmers’ Award Ceremony on April 28 in Kingston.

Activities for the month are staged under the theme ‘Grow What We Eat… Eat What We Grow’.

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