Agriculture Minister to Craft Plan to Grow Sector

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, says he will be working towards developing a new plan during this fiscal year for long-term growth and sustainability in Jamaica’s agricultural sector.
  • “If we are going to chart a new course for the agricultural sector, we must begin with a plan with a sufficiently long-term horizon,” Mr. Shaw said in his Sectoral presentation on Tuesday (May 1) in the House of Representatives.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, says he will be working towards developing a new plan during this fiscal year for long-term growth and sustainability in Jamaica’s agricultural sector.

“If we are going to chart a new course for the agricultural sector, we must begin with a plan with a sufficiently long-term horizon,” Mr. Shaw said in his Sectoral presentation on Tuesday (May 1) in the House of Representatives.

“We need to determine the level of growth we need the agricultural sector to attain in 10 to 15 years, and then work backwards to identify the quantum of lands and the level of infrastructure required on those lands. We need to establish the menu of crops and livestock that we need to produce, given the opportunities for import substitution, exports and for satisfying the requirements for raw material and intermediate goods for robust manufacturing and tourism sectors,” he told the House.

Mr. Shaw said that the plan will also address “the imperative of climate-proofing our agriculture and how to adapt and respond to external shocks”.

He said the Ministry had requested support from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to formulate a 10-year agricultural development plan, and the discussions were intensified in March, during the 35th Session of the FAO for Latin America and the Caribbean, which was held in Montego Bay, St. James.

He said other major organisations have also shown an interest in partnering with the Ministry to create this long-term plan.

“I am also pleased to indicate that the Inter-American Development Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), as well as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), want to play a role in the formulation of this plan, and all these partners are now being engaged through the coordination of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) to have this plan ready within the current financial year,” he said.

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