JIS News

Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Christopher Tufton, has said that the expansion in hotel accommodation and visitor arrivals throughout the region can provide a boost for agricultural production and open up lucrative market opportunities for primary producers. “If properly harnessed, this expansion in the hospitality industry can be a major boost to our agricultural economies,” he stated.
Dr. Tufton was addressing participants at the Agro-tourism workshop, which is part of the 7th Caribbean Week of Agriculture Forum now underway at the Gran Bahia Principe Hotel in Runaway Bay, St. Ann.
Noting the challenges facing the agricultural sector, Dr. Tufton said there had to be a shift from the outdated production practices so as to welcome proven technologies such as greenhouse, hydroponics and tissue culture, in order to significantly increase yields, quality and rationalize on the use of scarce water.
“Success does not come by chance. It takes concentrated, consistent and deliberate efforts,” Dr. Tufton said.
The Agriculture Minister said he was heartened to see representatives from the hospitality sector at this workshop and promised to do everything in his power to ensure that the synergy between agriculture and tourism lasts.
He noted that the context of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) “challenges us as regional leaders to pool our collective energies in order to exploit the obvious linkages between the two sectors to our economic advantage.” Representatives from the 15 CARICOM member states are in attendance at the forum, which started on Monday (Oct. 8), and is being held under the theme: ‘Agriculture – Harvesting Wealth through Tourism’. The event is aimed at raising the profile of agriculture within the region as well as fostering networking relationships in trade and policy development.

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