JIS News

As efforts to boost the agricultural sector through collaboration with the manufacturing sector intensifies, President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Senator Norman Grant has said that in 2004, the JAS and the Jamaica Manufacturers Association (JMA) would ‘work’ the MOU signed between both organisations, to the advancement of farmers through the operation of the central marketing company.

“We will be offering the manufacturers consistent quality and quantity of our produce and the facts are that as a result of this MOU, it certainly is making business easier. It is adding value to the process. While it is early days, we say the signs are very good,” he informed.

Senator Grant told JIS News that the MOU between the JAS and the JMA which was signed in November last year, was the first of its kind in recent history and had added significant value to the productive sector. He explained that there had been a joint meeting of the JMA and the JAS with Prime Minister P.J. Patterson in 2003, where a joint position was put forward as to the steps to be made to push the productive sector, including manufacturing and agriculture.

Senator Grant said the Prime Minister had been very receptive and enthused at the level of cooperation between the sectors and that out of that meeting, a special task force had been established comprising representatives of both sectors, headed by Director General, in the Office of the Prime Minister, Dennis Morrison.

The JAS President said that one big plus that had come out of the MOU was that the task force was currently reviewing the recommendations with the intent to present proposals and advance these proposals.

In addition, he said, the JMA had fully endorsed the JAS Eat Jamaican campaign that was launched in November last year. “What we have done in fact is not only say Eat Jamaican, but say buy Jamaican, so what we are seeing is the fruits of the collaborative efforts of the JMA and the JAS…we are speaking on a regular basis, looking at issues that affect both sectors and there is a very high level of collaboration between both organisations, one which I hope will provide a sense of lead to say that positive development and advancement can be achieved if we work together, and if we identify that common goal that is among us, rather than looking at the few issues that could serve to divide us,” Senator Grant stated.

The MOU will see the JAS and the JMA working together on the design and development of technical assistance programmes relevant to the needs of both organisations. They will also collaborate to provide government guidelines on policies and initiatives, relevant to both the agricultural and manufacturing sectors. In addition, the partnership will also involve working closely with other sectors including Tourism and Information Technology