Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) is encouraging diaspora members who have land in Jamaica to invest in agriculture and to incorporate technology in the sector, so as to improve yields and remove the sector’s risk profile.
“If that is done in a strategic way, we will be very far ahead,” Vice President of Marketing, JAMPRO, Gabriel Heron, said.
Participating in a panel discussion at the Jamaica 60 Diaspora Conference on June 15, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, downtown Kingston, he pointed out that there are three main challenges in the sector that are now changing – consistency, capacity and vulnerability.
“Large supermarket chains overseas require consistent fresh produce, and so we must ensure that our farming mechanisms and processes generate consistency,” he suggested.
“We must also ensure that we can implement and create farms that have large economies of scale and improved yields,” Mr. Heron added.
Speaking to vulnerability, he noted that the changes in the weather, hurricanes and praedial larceny are among the challenges facing agriculture.
Mr. Heron argued that implementing agriculture technology (AgTech) will not only remove the risks that have been plaguing the sector but will also improve yields, capacity and consistency.
He pointed out that training has been passed on to current farmers, so that “they can improve their capacity, improve their yields, and shield themselves from the vulnerability of the sector”.