Jamaica to Host Inter-American Agricultural Conference in October


Jamaica will host the Inter-American Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture’s (IICA) Ministerial conference in Montego Bay, St. James, in October. This will be the first time that the conference will be held in the Caribbean and Ministers of Agriculture and Secretaries of Agriculture from 34 countries are expected to attend.
During a courtesy call on Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding recently, the Director General of IICA, Chelston Braithwaite, thanked him for his support, adding that Jamaica was leading the way in the region.
Noting that 70 per cent of graduates of the College of Arts, Science and Education (CAPE) did not work in the industry, the Prime Minister said that the Government was trying to find ways to keep graduates in the field. The Government was also actively seeking ways to cut energy costs, as the average cost per kilowatt hour in Jamaica was US26 cents, while in Trinidad and Tobago it was US3 cents. In competing countries it ranged from US6 cents to US12 cents.
The IICA Director of Operations and Integration for the Caribbean Region, Trevor Murray, who also called on the Prime Minister said the quality of storage capacity for produce needed to be improved. He also said that more effort should be given to farmer training, similar to what is done in other professions.

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