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JIS News

The Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) has been engaged in fruitful dialogue with Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea to establish their technologies in Jamaica, to transform our agricultural industry.
President of the JAS, Senator Norman Grant told JIS News that during his recent visit to Japan, the concept of a development model that would convert agricultural products and community into a tourism product was cemented.
Using technologies such as huge greenhouses, and gigantic shadehouses, the Japanese have pioneered and mastered what is called a Road Station.
The road station concept entails farmers growing their crops under greenhouse locations and on that same location are packing houses, grading stations and cool room facilities.
The Japanese have a Central Marketing System, where they grade and market the crops at the same location. This attracts thousands of tourists who leave the urban areas to go to these locations.
Jamaica could do the same to lure visitors to see how those crops are grown and to even pay to go on the farms to reap their own fruits, Senator Grant pointed out. “This will generate a lot of interest from within the Caribbean and North America,” he said, adding that what was being sold was the “rural experience”.
Explaining that the road station was a sort of one stop store, as it related to agriculture, Senator Grant said the potential for a particular product to have about 30 value-added items was very exciting and lucrative.
Senator Grant argued that a Jamaica/Japan alliance would bring these new technologies to Jamaica. The ability of those countries to increase growth in their agricultural sector depended on great emphasis on rural development, he pointed out.
He said the Government could now move to develop a holistic rural development policy document that would drive rural development and return stability to the economic growth of rural communities.
“Bringing those technologies and modifying them to suit our economic pockets can immediately contribute to uniform production and quality,” Senator Grant noted.