JIS News

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with a number of tertiary institutions to formulate a joint research programme, to address critical challenges in the agricultural sector.

The institutions are: University of the West Indies (UWI); University of Technology (UTech); Northern Caribbean University (NCU), and the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE).

“This will complement existing programmes with foreign based universities and regional and international organizations, such as the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute, the UN Food and Agriculture Association, Inter-American Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture, and the Commonwealth of Learning,” Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Roger Clarke said, as he made his contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House on May 8.

“I think the significant convergence of interests and collaborative research will have a greater impact on the sector, rather than having each institution operating in a silo,” the Minister added.

Mr. Clarke emphasized that the only sustainable means of increasing and maintaining agricultural productivity is through consistent innovative research and application of research findings to production.

He said countries like Jamaica cannot engage the range of research required to solve productivity problems without collaboration with academia.

“Our R (research) and D (development) programme over the years has yielded spectacular results –Jamaica Hope, Bodles Globe Pumpkin, several varieties of pepper and tomatoes, among others. We cannot halt the momentum on account of fiscal challenge,” he asserted.

Contact: Alphea Saunders