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Story Highlights

  • Citizen’s Charter re-launched to improve customer service and boost agricultural production
  • The document outlines areas such as the Ministry’s vision, mission, its various stakeholders, and core values
  • A re-launch of the Citizen’s Charter became necessary due to changes within the agriculture sector over the last six to 10 years

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries today (August 29) re-launched its Citizen’s Charter as it seeks to improve customer service to its various stakeholders and boost agricultural production to ensure food security.

The document outlines areas such as the Ministry’s vision, mission, its various stakeholders, and core values.

Portfolio Minister, Hon. Roger Clarke, in his remarks at the re-launch held at his Hope Gardens headquarters on Wednesday, August 28, noted that as public servants, every effort must be made to pursue a culture of excellence in service delivery.

“At the same time, we must also recognise that our service is aligned to the stake we all have in improving the welfare of Jamaica, especially as this relates to the provision and availability of nutritious food,” Mr. Clarke said.

He further noted that the Ministry leads a sector that has a critical role to play in ensuring that Jamaicans are empowered to realise their fullest potential and as enunciated in the National Vision 2030 achieve the development goal of having a healthy and sustainable population.

“Our primary role as a Ministry is that of facilitating the systems that promote food security. In order to achieve these objectives, it is important that the Ministry pursues performance-based corporate strategies, underpinned by a customer focused philosophy of service and this is what our Citizen’s Charter represents and documents,” Mr. Clarke stated.

“But my belief is that the Charter is also an open invitation to all Jamaicans to become active participants in pursuing the development of goals for food security. It will take all of us as Jamaicans to get food security right. As citizens of Jamaica we all have a stake in ensuring that the agriculture sector succeeds,” he added.

Mr. Clarke also renewed the call for Jamaicans to redouble their efforts in the ‘Eat Jamaican Campaign’ and to play their part in advancing local food production.

Principal Director, Policy, Coordination and Administration at the Ministry, Dwight Uylett, explained that a re-launch of the Citizen’s Charter became necessary due to changes within the agriculture sector over the last six to 10 years.

“This changes how we go about business and how we look to go about business and how we interact. There are a lot of stakeholders within the sector now and we have to ensure that we have proper programmes in place to address those in a fulsome manner,” Mr. Uylett stated.

He noted that since the first Charter was launched in 2006, a lot of capacity building has taken place within the Ministry.

“We have strengthened, extensively, our extension services and interaction with the farming community. We have reorganised a number of key strategic imperative and organisations and one key one is the Agro Invest Cooperation,” Mr. Uylett noted.

Mr. Uylett also mentioned that one of the key focus areas of the Ministry is to be compliant with a number of global regulations relating to agriculture.

“We also want to extend the pool and the penetration rate of technology use in the agriculture sector. One of the key things the Ministry is going to be looking at in the future is how do we drive the benefits of technology all the way to addressing farmer interaction, transfer of knowledge, prevention of praedial larceny to ensure that going forward, we have a sustainable agriculture sector,” the Principal Director said.

Mr. Uylett informed that as part of the Charter, the Ministry will also be required to undertake an all-island customer service survey.

The Citizen’s Charter forms part of the government’s public sector modernization programme, which is being ably spearheaded by the Cabinet office.