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Agriculture and Lands Minister, Roger Clarke, has called on persons with capital to invest in sustainable agricultural ventures.
The Minister, who was addressing the Ministry’s road shows on ‘Profit-making ventures in agriculture’ on November 1 at the Golf View Hotel in Mandeville, noted that while some persons may have capital, they preferred to place it in fixed deposit accounts and not in agriculture.
“This is not sustainable and it won’t go on forever, so it is time to invest in things that are sustainable,” he stated.
The Minister acknowledged that while there were challenges within the sector, “we must let agriculture play a pivotal role in Jamaica’s development, and when I speak about development, I mean sustainable development”.
“What we have to do right now is to begin to expand on the things that we have committed ourselves to do, so we are talking about a modern agriculture, which provides opportunities for all those who have an interest in it,” he stated.
The show was the second of five being held across the island, aimed at harnessing greater private investment in agriculture, by highlighting opportunities in the sector where profit-making exist.
In attendance were State Ministers of Agriculture and Lands, Victor Cummings and Errol Ennis; Permanent Secretary, Donavan Stanberry, Chief Technical Director, Don McGlashan, in addition to scores of farmers and business interests.
The event featured presentations by industry experts on a range of topics including: Hot Pepper Investment Profile, Protected Cultivation and Hydroponics Production, Development of a Fruit Tree Crop Industry, Sheep and Pig Production and the Bee Keeping Industry.
Information was also provided on land availability, irrigation and the procedure to follow in order to obtain financing and technical advice.
The road shows, which got underway in Kingston on October 25, will stop at the Wexford Court Hotel in Montego Bay today (Nov. 3); Rooms on the Beach in Ocho Rios on November 15 and the Old Marina in Port Antonio on November 22.