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CARICOM Secretary General Dr. Edwin Carrington, says the establishment of the Centre of Excellence for Advanced Technology in Agriculture, is critical to the development of the sector in the region.
Speaking at the launch of the Centre at the Bodles Research Station in Old Harbour, St. Catherine, on Tuesday, March 24, he said, “You have guaranteed that the entire region will be involved, will benefit and will certainly in years to come be grateful for this day in Jamaica.”
Meanwhile, Spanish Ambassador to Jamaica and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Jesus Silva Fernandez, said that Spain is pleased to be partnering with CARICOM and the Government of Jamaica in making agriculture a priority.
The Centre of Excellence was established through a grant, to CARICOM, of US$3 million from the Spanish Agency for International Development and Co-operation (Caecid). The grant will be used to fund the first three years of the Centre’s operations.
“When we sat down two years ago with CARICOM partners in our joint commission that took place in Kingston, we agreed that agriculture should be one of the biggest priorities. not only for the region but also for the efforts of Spain in the Caribbean region,” he informed.
He expressed the hope that his Government’s assistance will also include the provision of expertise.
“The most important part is certainly the training. The training of the farmers because we want our funds to benefit the people of Jamaica and the people of the Caribbean and we hope that we will be assisting you not only with money but also with what we have been doing up to now, with expertise. With experts that will be coming here and sharing the experience with your farmers to try to find results in the short term,” the Ambassador said.

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