The Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) formed in 1895 under the instruction of the then Governor General of Jamaica, Sir Henry Blake to stimulate interest of all categories of farmers in the island in agricultural pursuits. And to establish a forum where all farmers could meet, discuss their problems to initiate plans, elect officers and to do all other things necessary for the welfare of the farming community. It is the oldest most deeply rooted organization in rural agricultural development in the Caribbean.
In 1941, the JAS was incorporated as a private voluntary organization. Presently, the JAS is an agency of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
The Jamaica Agricultural Society is an umbrella organization consisting of varied affiliated agriculturally related organizations to include: Jamaica Citrus Growers Association, Pimento Growers Association, Cocoa Industry Board, All Island Cane Farmers Association, Coconut Industry Board, All Island Banana Growers Association, Coffee Industry Board, Jamaica Livestock Association, Ministry of Agriculture Export Division and Sugar Industry Board.
The Jamaica Agricultural Society also has established parish offices island-wide. Each Parish has within its structural framework an Association of Branch Society (ABS) that consists of branches within the farming communities. Each ABS is governed by the President and the Executive Body elected by the farmers for representation in the decision making process of the Society.
The core of the Jamaica Agricultural Society in representing the farming community is:
- To foster domestic agricultural production for Jamaican farmers.
- Support research and development in new methodologies and farming techniques in agricultural production and output.
- To encourage “best practices” in agricultural development.
- To foster efficiency and effectiveness in agricultural production, output and distribution.
- Support ventures in agri-business as a means of increasing value added within the agricultural sector.