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  • Over the last three years, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has been implementing strategies aimed at ensuring the sustainability of the sector so as to safeguard the nation’s food security.
  • Portfolio Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier, made the comment during a sectoral workshop for the preparation of the Vision 2030 Medium Term Policy Framework 2015-2018 at the Medallion Hall Hotel in St. Andrew on July 29.
  • Minister Kellier said the Ministry has approved the National Food and Nutrition Policy in 2013, providing the framework for the development of the sector to ensure that sufficient quantity of nutritious food of appropriate quality is available to Jamaicans.

Over the last three years, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has been implementing strategies aimed at ensuring the sustainability of the sector so as to safeguard the nation’s food security.

Portfolio Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier, made the comment during a sectoral workshop for the preparation of the Vision 2030 Medium Term Policy Framework 2015-2018 at the Medallion Hall Hotel in St. Andrew on July 29.

He noted that these strategies will also ensure that the sector continues to contribute to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and fulfil its mission statement “to advance the development of a modern, efficient and internationally competitive agricultural sector, and the sustainable management of our fishery resources, in order to promote food security and food safety in an effort to contribute to the development and well-being of our people.”

He said that some of critical measures include: establishment of nine agro-parks; farm road rehabilitation through the sugar transformation programme; successful completion of the European Union Banana Support Programme and initiation of the Jamaica Banana Accompanying Measures; implementation of aquaculture development plan; promotion and use of the farmer field school methodology in extension services; building climate resilience of the agricultural sector through provision of water harvesting and irrigation infrastructure; as well as training in proper land husbandry techniques.

He further cited completion of phase one of the rehabilitation of the agricultural marketing complex; upgrading of export facilities; sensitisation and training for exporters, middlemen and farmers to ensure the continued export of agricultural products to the United States under the Food Safety Modernization Act.

Minister Kellier said the Ministry has approved the National Food and Nutrition Policy in 2013, providing the framework for the development of the sector to ensure that sufficient quantity of nutritious food of appropriate quality is available to Jamaicans.

“We have also introduced the food safety policy to ensure that our people are being supplied with safe food as well as to facilitate export of our produce to markets which demand safe foods,” he pointed out.

Minister Kellier said that while the sector continues to grow, the challenges relating to climate change must be addressed.

“In spite of the successes, the 2012-2015 period has also presented emerging issues, which has brought into even greater focus, the national imperative to make Jamaica’s agriculture sustainable through increased production and productivity,” he said.

He noted that the sector stakeholder workshop is an important step in the consultation process to address fundamental issues affecting the sector. “This plan must, ideally, include actions, projects and programmes, which will also be implemented by the private sector, our international development partners and other key stakeholders,” he said.

The Medium Term Socio-Economic Policy Framework (MTF) is aligned with the overall vision, goals and outcomes of Vision 2030 Jamaica-National Development Plan and is the mechanism for implementing the plan in a trienniums to 2030.

Each MTF sets out a prioritised package of policies, strategies and programmes proposed by the Government for implementation over the period. This MTF 2015-2018 covers the period 2015/2016 to 2017/2018.