JIS News

Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Victor Cummings, has called for more Jamaicans to explore backyard ornamental fish rearing as a viable source of income.
The Minister was speaking on (October 9), at a tour of an ornamental fish farm, operated by Mark Williams, and Christopher and Peter Higgins in Harbour View, St. Andrew.
Pointing out that local fish farmers could benefit from the many opportunities available in the global fish trade Mr. Cummings noted that “the current value of the local ornamental fish trade is estimated at some US$1 million per year at the retail level, and we in Jamaica have not even started to scratch the surface”.
He cited the Inner-City Ornamental Fish Production Project as one effort by the Ministry, to get individuals from both rural and inner city communities involved in ornamental fish rearing. This programme, Mr. Cummings noted, in conjunction with the Jamaica Business Development Centre (JBDC) aims to provide persons not only with skills in the production of ornamental fish, but business skills as well.
“Under this programme we have trained approximately 60 individuals in ornamental fish, where we have gone through everything such as the types of fish, diseases and feeding. We have identified 15 individuals who will be receiving a grant of approximately $50,000 to grow their own ornamental fish,” he informed.
Mr. Cummings noted that the idea behind the programme was to use ornamental fish production, as a means of diversifying economies within these communities. As part of the effort to attract more persons to backyard ornamental fish rearing, the Ministry in conjunction with the Jamaica Ornamental Fish Farmers (JOFFA) will be hosting a National Ornamental Fish Expo, at Jamaica College, on Old Hope Road from October 28 to 29.
The Expo will be held under the theme, ‘Treasures Beneath the Water: Highlighting opportunities in the pet fish industry’, and will highlight opportunities in the local pet fish industry, and the international market.