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  • State Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Luther Buchanan, is encouraging Jamaicans in the Diaspora to invest in the local agricultural sector, particularly agro-parks, focusing specifically on the value-added component.
  • The State Minister cited ginger, Irish potato, onion, pineapple, yam, turmeric, sweet potato and melon production as areas ripe for Diaspora investments.
  • Meanwhile, the State Minister said the Government has taken several steps to protect investments in the livestock sector.

State Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Luther Buchanan, is encouraging Jamaicans in the Diaspora to invest in the local agricultural sector, particularly agro-parks, focusing specifically on the value-added component.

Addressing a session at the 6th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James, on June 15, Mr. Buchanan said the timing is right for investments to expand the agro-parks, which now total nine, given the nation’s push to increase local production for the domestic and export markets.

The State Minister cited ginger, Irish potato, onion, pineapple, yam, turmeric, sweet potato and melon production as areas ripe for Diaspora investments.

“Opportunities (also) exist in the agro-parks to do further… development with respect to post-harvest management and agro-processing. There is (also) the need for additional facilities and intermediary agro-processing facilities. Service provision specifically related to machinery and equipment as well as input supplies are other opportunities in which investors from the Diaspora can participate,” Mr. Buchanan pointed out.

Meanwhile, the State Minister said the Government has taken several steps to protect investments in the livestock sector.

Some of these, he said, include: establishing abattoirs to support cluster farmers; reducing import substitution on meat products; implementing the traceability programme for live animals; and strengthening the Praedial Larceny Act, among other measures.

Mr. Buchanan emphasised that growth in the agricultural sector needs more than “the magical hand of market,” and that the Government remains focused on providing an enabling environment to facilitate this growth.

“There is room for greater investment from the private sector and from the Diaspora to exponentially increase production and expand the export market. To satisfy the great demand that exists overseas for Jamaican produce, we are currently building our export platform to reach both the Diaspora and mainstream markets in the US, Canada, the UK and other parts of the Caribbean,” he informed.