Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, says the country’s agricultural sector must be positioned to ensure that it can adequately feed the population.
This, he contends, is against projections that the global population will reach nine billion by 2050, and estimates by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) that agricultural output will have to grow by approximately 70 per cent to feed the increased number of people.
“We dare not run the risk of inability to compete with other countries for food imports. Indeed, food security is going to foster our prosperity. We have to be able to feed ourselves and feed our people. We cannot depend on other countries to be exporting to us, to feed us,” the Governor-General stated.
He was speaking at the Jamaica Agricultural Society’s (JAS) 118th Annual General Meeting (AGM), held on Wednesday, July 10, at the Denbigh showground, May Pen, Clarendon.
Stating that Jamaica has “merely scratched the surface of our true potential” in agriculture, the Governor-General noted that the country is blessed with rich, fertile soil, good weather, and “excellent” farmers.
He however underscored the need to incorporate technology, scientific research, and other developments into the sector “so that we can increase value-added production.”
The Governor-General, who is also patron of the JAS, said it is now an opportune time to incorporate more young people into agriculture, and emphasised the need to make the sector “more attractive” to them by instituting technological applications.