JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Director of the Agricultural Competitiveness Programme (ACP), Petronia Colley, says globalisation and expanding international trade have made it easier for Jamaican producers to find an opening in emerging markets overseas.
  • “The Government has wisely prioritised a market-driven and export-led strategy to foster growth of the agricultural sector,” Ms. Colley noted.
  • Ms. Colley informed that the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is funding the ACP to enhance competitiveness in the agricultural sector, through the implementation of activities aimed at promoting market access by small and medium farmers, and stimulating private-sector investment in the industry.

Director of the Agricultural Competitiveness Programme (ACP), Petronia Colley, says globalisation and expanding international trade have made it easier for Jamaican producers to find an opening in emerging markets overseas.

Ms. Colley, who was speaking at the two-day training seminar on ‘Farm Enterprise Management’, at the Hyatt Ziva/Zilara Rose Hall hotel, St. James, on August 29, said it is important that producers gain better control over production, trade and distribution in order to fully maximise the opportunities that are available.

She also emphasised that it is equally important for producers to guarantee the quality of their products, so as to enhance their credibility in the overseas marketplace.

“The Government has wisely prioritised a market-driven and export-led strategy to foster growth of the agricultural sector,” Ms. Colley noted.

“This is consistent with the notion of a strong long-term relationship between the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and export performance. However, to fulfil this strategy it is important that we clear every hurdle that would prevent us from being globally competitive,” she added.

Ms. Colley informed that the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is funding the ACP to enhance competitiveness in the agricultural sector, through the implementation of activities aimed at promoting market access by small and medium farmers, and stimulating private-sector investment in the industry.

“The overall aim is to support the development of a modern, efficient, internationally competitive and sustainable agricultural sector, which will open and expand domestic and international market access and opportunities for Jamaican products with a competitive and comparative advantage,” Ms. Colley explained.

“This will enable us to continue focusing on facilitating the linkage of the primary productive sector with the marketing chain and with the view of generating value added through market access and export promotion,” she added.

Ms. Colley noted that farmers and exporters of agricultural produce are faced with many challenges, both locally and internationally, but these are not insurmountable.

“Through a Technical Cooperation Agreement with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), we are seeking to train and sensitise agricultural officers on the knowledge and skills in standard business practices, such as proper planning, decision-making, management and having a full appreciation of the requirements for operating a successful agricultural enterprise,” she said.

She pointed out that there will be training interventions for agricultural technicians who interact directly with farmers in the agro parks and satellite communities. The sessions, she said, will involve lectures, video presentations and case studies.

“At the end of the day, we should have a better understanding as to the basic principles of farm management. We should be able to demonstrate the use of various tools and techniques to analyse information to make informed decisions on the farm and to illustrate the use of problem-solving approach and how business management concepts can be applied to real-life scenarios on various farming enterprises,” Ms. Colley said.