JIS News

Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, has said that economic growth in rural communities was going to have to come from agriculture.
Mr. Golding said tourism, mining nor other similar investments, will never ever have the penetration of agriculture to provide a real base for generating economic growth in rural communities.
Mr. Golding was speaking last night (Oct 27) at the opening of the 5th Hemispheric Meeting of Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas and the 15th regular meeting of the Inter-American Board of Agriculture. The meeting is being held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Montego Bay St. James and is being attended by delegates from 34 countries of the Americas.
Mr. Golding said that after almost half a century of pursuing alternative paths, which were felt could offer better returns, “we are now finding that we have to look to the stone that the builder rejected and to recognise that for many countries like Jamaica, agriculture is the cornerstone to which we have to return”.
He noted however, that if agriculture is to be the path for the future, it has to offer more than just subsistence and to do more than just put food on the table.
It must be able to send children to a good school, and to provide resources that people can turn to. If agriculture cannot offer this hope, it will not be something that people will see as providing an opportunity to build a life and a future for themselves.
Yesterday’s opening session heard presentations from the Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton; Secretary General of the Organisation of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza; and Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture (IICA), Dr Chelston Braithwaite.

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