JIS News

Morocco’s donation of 24,000 bags of fertiliser to Jamaica is an indication of the strong bilateral relationship between both countries, says Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr.

Addressing a virtual media briefing on March 23 where the donation was announced, Minister Charles said that the gift, worth $122 million, could not have come at a better time, noting that farmers continue to face challenges relating to the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the global increase in prices for agricultural inputs.

“This donation forms part of a larger or more substantive technical assistance programme that will examine Jamaica’s soil fertility to address some of the underlying issues within the farming sector. We can look at this within the context of our bilateral relations with Morocco,” he added.

The Minister said the assistance programme will also provide “technical training” in soil fertility analysis for “some of our staff”, noting that the Ministry will be taking an empirical approach to agriculture going forward.

“The fertiliser donation will be managed by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS). This donation is very timely and will go a long way in assisting our farmers,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Mr. Charles Jr. said that with the reopening of the entertainment sector as well as the removal of the Disaster Risk Management Act, some of the more popular agricultural shows will be making a comeback in 2022.

He cited the ever-popular Denbigh Agricultural and Industrial Show (Emancipation Weekend), Montpelier Agricultural Show (Easter Monday), Agro Fest (Labour Day weekend), and the St. Mary Agricultural Show (Easter Monday).

“These are huge shows that not only attract locals but overseas visitors as well. These shows have not been held for the past two years due to COVID-19, resulting in massive loss of potential revenue. Denbigh, for example, is the biggest agricultural show in the English-speaking Caribbean,” the Minister said.

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