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Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Christopher Tufton has described the newly launched Centre of Excellence for Advanced Technology in Agriculture, as a milestone in advancing research in the sector.
Dr. Tufton noted that the facility is “timely because as a country we have been engaged in current discussions on the role of agriculture in countering the challenges that we face in terms of our own food security and our over dependence on imported foods to sustain our nutritional requirements”.
The Centre of Excellence, which was officially launched on Friday, March 27, at the Bodles Research Station in St. Catherine, was realised through a US$3 million grant from the Spanish Government, through the Agencia Espanola de Co-operacion Internacional.
The grant will fund the first three years of the Centre’s operations and is being accessed through the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Minister Tufton noted that although the Centre of Excellence will be located in Jamaica, it is a regional initiative, aimed at boosting competitiveness and productivity in agriculture.
Operations at the Centre will be governed by a board of 15 advisors drawn from various local and international sectors.
The facility, which will be located at the Bodles Research Station in Old Harbour, St. Catherine, will largely be operated on a virtual basis and will receive support from a satellite centre located in Coleyville, Manchester. It will boast administrative offices, meeting rooms, demonstration plots, and greenhouse facilities.

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