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President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Glendon Harris, has said that the organisation is providing a range of support programmes and services to the country’s farmers, which are geared towards increasing production and productivity.
These, he said, include training seminars, production development projects, and tractor tillage programmes. He further cited collaboration with Jamaica Trade and Invest to access funding and assistance with writing business plans; while farmers also benefit from loans from Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) at competitive interest rates.
“The JAS has been providing support programmes to farmers in its efforts to assist with capacity building and empowering them to achieve,” Mr. Harris stated in his address at the official opening of the 55th annual Hague Agricultural and Livestock Show in Falmouth, Trelawny on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 17).
He pointed to the need for “serious investments” to build infrastructural capacity and move the sector from the primary level to more value-added “then we can begin to address the issue of high food import bill and the enhancement of the quality of local foods.”
He had words of commendation for the thousands of farmers across Jamaica, who are doing a successful job of feeding the population and “keeping agriculture on top” despite the challenges.
“Allow me to use this opportunity to encourage farmers to continue to play your part and make your contribution to national development. Let us use these challenging times as a springboard for greater achievement. We are promoting a clear need for sustaining agriculture through production, food security and improved marketing,” Mr. Harris stated.