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  • Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson, says the Government is committed to using the agricultural sector as a catalyst for increased economic growth.
  • Mr. Hutchinson said that while the sector remains susceptible to problems such as glut, drought and other adverse weather conditions, it is important to ensure there is consistency of supplies and sustainable incomes for farmers and entrepreneurs in the sector.
  • Mr. Hutchinson explained that sound planning and management are key components to the success of all businesses, adding that proper bookkeeping and best practice strategies are very important.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson, says the Government is committed to using the agricultural sector as a catalyst for increased economic growth.

Addressing stakeholders at a training workshop on Farm Enterprise Management at the Hyatt Ziva/Zilara Rose Hall, Montego Bay, on August 29, Mr. Hutchinson said it is important that there continues to be a major focus on increasing production and productivity in all facets of the sector.

“We are happy that through the continuing efforts of our farmers, we were able to achieve growth of 13 per cent in April to June 2016 when compared to the corresponding period last year,” the Minister pointed out.

“As reported last week by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Agriculture, within the goods-producing industry, continues to perform favourably, recording the strongest growth of seven per cent over the previous quarter,” he added.

Mr. Hutchinson said that while the sector remains susceptible to problems such as glut, drought and other adverse weather conditions, it is important to ensure there is consistency of supplies and sustainable incomes for farmers and entrepreneurs in the sector.

“We have to address all the critical gaps along the entire agricultural value chain such as infrastructure, production, technical support, market support, and value-added production,” the Minister pointed out.

Mr. Hutchinson explained that sound planning and management are key components to the success of all businesses, adding that proper bookkeeping and best practice strategies are very important.

“We must always remember that agriculture is a business and cannot be treated like the poor cousin. It is important that the effort be made to apply smart thinking and best practices, so as to maximise fully all the opportunities that are available throughout the sector,” he said.

The Minister acknowledged the contribution of the Agricultural Competitiveness Programme (ACP), funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), and all other participants for putting together the training seminar.

The two-day workshop will examine the key components of farm management, including the development of business enterprise plans, agronomic practices, budgeting, decision-making and risk management.