Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, was today (Sept. 1) presented with two sponsorship cheques totalling $4, 050,000 (US$ 45,000) towards the staging of two important international conferences on agriculture in Montego Bay St. James next month.
The conferences are part of activities to mark the Inter-American Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture (IICA)-organised Week of Agriculture and Rural Life of the Americas from October 25 to 31.
During the brief handing over ceremony held at the Ministry’s Hope Gardens location in Kingston, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Jamaica Broilers Groups of Companies, Christopher Levy handed over $2, 250,000 (US$ 25,000), while Head of Digicel Business, Jamaica, Niall Sheehy gave $1, 800,000 (US$20,000).
Dr. Tufton said that he was appreciative of the sponsorship, noting that “your identifying with the event, will obviously help to stimulate the richness of the event, but also, as commercial entities, there is an opportunity for you to expose yourself to a very wide marketplace, and there is certainly an opportunity for you to develop relationships that will move way beyond the particular event.”
Mr. Levy said that Jamaica Broilers was pleased to support the event, which was being held in Jamaica and the English-Speaking Caribbean for the first time. The meeting, he said, was a critical step in ensuring food security across the region.
Mr. Sheehy, for his part, informed that Digicel will be the main telecommunications provider for the event, with business media rooms to be set up, with internet and voice services, where journalists can make phone calls, file news reports and conduct interviews.
Themed, ‘Building Capacity for Enhancing Food Security and Rural Life in the Americas,’ the one-week meeting will bring together agricultural policy makers within the hemisphere to discuss matters of importance to agriculture.
“It involves countries that are developing as well as countries that are developed. It is a week of activities that seeks to expose research, current trends, new developments, challenges, and also to stimulate relationships that will augur well overtime for the agricultural sector,” Dr. Tufton informed.
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, (centre) accepts a $1, 800,000 (US$ 20,000) representational cheque from Head of Digicel Business, Jamaica Niall Sheehy (second left) during a handing over ceremony at the Ministry on Tuesday (Sept. 1). The cheque will go towards the staging of two conferences to be held in Montego Bay St. James, as part of the Week of Agriculture and Rural Life of the Americas from October 25 to 31. Sharing the occasion are (from left): Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Donovan Stanberry; Digicel’s Sales and Distribution Director, Jason Corrigan; and Inter-American Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture (IICA) Representative in Jamaica, Cynthia Currie.
IICA Representative in Jamaica, Cynthia Currie, said that the week-long event will place focus on the private sector component “which we think is going to be very important because getting the private sector on board of course, is absolutely key to the sustainability of the growth of Jamaican agriculture in particular, but we can spread that across the region.”
Participating delegations will attend two meetings: The Fifth Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Rural Life, in the context of the Summit of the Americas process; and the Fifteenth Regular Meeting of the Inter-American Board of Agriculture (IABA), which the highest governing body of IICA.
The Fifth Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Rural Life in the Americas, will mark the culmination of the 2008-2009 Ministerial Process, with participants focussing on the implementation of the AGRO 2003-2015 Plan, which is the shared long-term agenda for promoting the sustainable development of agriculture and the rural milieu.
The Ministerial Process is a hemispheric effort focussing on dialogue, consensus building and commitment, and encompassing a number of objectives and strategic actions the goal of which is the sustainable development of agriculture and the rural milieu.
It focusses on the implementation of the Ministerial Agreement adopted at the Fourth Ministerial Meeting held in Guatemala in 2007, and seeks to develop a broad-based approach to thinking and acting in agriculture, and promote agricultural and non agricultural stakeholders working together to improve farming and rural life in the Americas.
The Fifth Ministerial Meeting will look at the challenges that countries face in promoting the development of agriculture, improving the standard of living in the rural population, and achieving food security.
The current and potential contribution of the private sector to food security, food imports, food production, injection of capital, value-added production, agro-industry and technological developments will also be discussed.
The meeting is expected to conclude with the adoption of a Hemispheric Ministerial Agreement, to be implemented by the countries of the region with the support of IICA and other relevant organisations.