JIS News

Spanish Ambassador to Jamaica, Jesus Silva has said that Jamaica’s agricultural sector stood to benefit from the massive Spanish investment in tourism infrastructure now underway across the island.
Ambassador Silva, who was speaking at Tuesday’s (Feb. 6) annual general meeting of the Agri-stakeholders Association held at Bridge Palm Resort in Clarendon, informed that, “over the next five years, the intent is to create some 10,000 additional rooms and this means in actual terms that we will in fact be increasing the available bed space by some 50 per cent”. “Some 13,000 new jobs would be created from this development,” he added.
According to the Ambassador, persons coming to the island to fill these rooms “will want to taste and sample the food that is associated with this island. They will require at least three meals per day and at two persons per room, this translates into perhaps some 60,000 meals per day once we have completed the five-year plan”.
He said the time was ripe for the farming sector to begin serious dialogue with the management of the new Spanish chain of hotels, in order to benefit from this development. “The six hotel chains will be outsourcing many functions such as food supply provision and their watchword will be service, quality and reliability hence the very excellent opportunity to develop a good partnership,” he pointed out.
State Minister for Agriculture and Lands, Victor Cummings, who brought greetings, highlighted the need for Jamaican farmers to make the best use of available technology.
“The long term vision of the Ministry is the dynamic transformation of the Jamaican agricultural sector by the year 2020 and by using a supportive environment of targeted government policies, programmes and institutional support, this sector we know will experience a sustained research-oriented, technological market-driven and private sector-led revolution, which will revitalise rural communities,” he stated.
The Agriculture State Minister pointed out that one of the critical challenges faced by the sector was the question of how to increase efficiency, productivity and competitiveness.
“The key threats result from the level of reliance on imports, use of inappropriate technologies, high cost of capital and inadequate research and development.issues we at the Ministry are seeking to address and that is why the Agri-stakeholders Association is so important,” he said.
The meeting was organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands through its subsidiary the Agriculture Support Services Project. The Agri-stakeholders Association is an umbrella organisation that consists of agro-producers organisations and buyers and has as one of its primary roles, the responsibility of coordinating the production and marketing activities of its members.
It is a registered legal entity under the Industrial and Provident Society Act and as such, is governed by certain rules for membership and operation.