JIS News

Minister of Industry and Tourism, Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, has stressed that for significant growth and development to be achieved in the agricultural sector, farmers would have to view their involvement in the industry in a wider context by making direct linkages between agriculture and other sectors of the society.
Speaking at the 110th anniversary of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) in Kingston on July 13, Minister Assamba said that in the manufacturing of value-added products, farmers must see the direct link between what they produced and what is manufactured.
She further noted that farmers have to view improving their productivity not just in the context of producing more, but producing what the market demanded, at an excellent quality, at a good price, and utilizing the most effective distribution methods of selling their produce.
“Critical to moving agriculture to new heights of achievement will be the issue of productivity within the sector; it is not enough to simply produce more. but producing it at a high quality. Farmers must become active marketers,” she emphasized.
The Minister said that in order to improve productivity, farmers have to see themselves as entrepreneurs who must play a significant role in national development.
Noting the numerous challenges that farmers face, particularly small farmers, Mrs. Assamba noted that the high interest rates offered by many financial institutions was a major deterrent to the production process, as many farmers were not able to afford credit on the terms specified. She pointed out that the lowering of the interest rates would indeed, serve to stimulate the business environment, especially in the area of agriculture.
President of the JAS, Senator Norman Grant also underscored the need for banks to lower their interest rates, emphasizing that it should not be difficult for farmers to gain access to loans or credit, as they were the backbone of the Jamaican economy.

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