JIS News

President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Senator Norman Grant, says that agriculture remains Jamaica’s best hope for stimulating economic recovery and overcoming the current global crisis.
Senator Grant said, however, that for the sector to achieve full potential, there is a need for the coming together of stakeholders, including the JAS, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).
“Once we can come together, put aside our political biases and aim at working together for the common good, we can achieve success,” Senator Grant said in his speech to Saturday’s Agrofest 2009, the Corporate Area’s annual agricultural show at the Jamaica College grounds on Hope Road, Kingston.
The show was staged by the JAS Kingston and St. Andrew Association of Branch Societies with the support of RADA.
Senator Grant said that the success of the show was achieved against the backdrop of the high agricultural import bill, which has risen significantly since 2004.
He said that the exhibition demonstrated the capacity of Jamaican farmers to rebound from natural and economic disasters, and substantially reduce the need to import large quantities of food.
He added that the JAS will be working with RADA and the Ministry of Agriculture to build up the sector’s capacity to produce enough food to significantly reduce imports.
Over 50 exhibits were on display at the show, including plants, flowers, food produce, fruits, rabbits, birds, sheep and goats including South African breeds of goats and New Zealand white rabbits.
Jacks Hill again emerged as the champion farm exhibit, winning the Minister of Agriculture’s trophy in the process, followed by Content Gap and Constitution Hill. The National 4-H Clubs won the Cherry Savage trophy for being the top commercial booth followed by Ebony Park .
Executive Director of RADA, Al Powell, represented the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton. Also visiting were Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Dr. Kenneth Baugh and Opposition spokesman, Roger Clarke.

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