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  • Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, is calling for a ramping up of private-sector investment in agriculture in order to ensure the nation’s food security and to meet global demand.
  • This comes against the background of projections that world food needs will increase significantly over the next 32 years.
  • “It is projected that by 2050 the world will need to produce 60 per cent more food than it currently does in order to feed the global population. For young people looking for business opportunities, I say that in every crisis there is a seed of greater benefit, in every crisis, there’s an opportunity. This is an opportunity for Jamaica, not just to feed ourselves (but the world),” Minister Shaw said.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, is calling for a ramping up of private-sector investment in agriculture in order to ensure the nation’s food security and to meet global demand.

This comes against the background of projections that world food needs will increase significantly over the next 32 years.

“It is projected that by 2050 the world will need to produce 60 per cent more food than it currently does in order to feed the global population. For young people looking for business opportunities, I say that in every crisis there is a seed of greater benefit, in every crisis, there’s an opportunity. This is an opportunity for Jamaica, not just to feed ourselves (but the world),” Minister Shaw said.

He noted that hunger kills more people every year than Malaria, Tuberculosis and AIDS combined, and about 45 per cent of infant deaths are related to malnutrition.

Minister Shaw was speaking at the opening of a World Food Day conference and exhibition on Tuesday (October 16) at the University of Technology (UTech) Papine campus in St. Andrew.

UTech President, Professor Stephen Vasciannie, in supporting the Minister’s call, said that one of the ways in which Jamaicans can invest in food security, is through rural development and fostering capacity for entrepreneurship among young people in rural communities.

“Minister Shaw, we note your recent calls for increased agricultural production and land management rationalisation in rural communities. UTech Jamaica shares unequivocally in this thrust,” he said.

Professor Vasciannie pointed out that United Nations (UN) Secretary General, António Guterres, in his 2017 message to the Committee on World Food Security, noted that despite progress in recent years, hunger is on the rise again.

He added that the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) 2018 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World Report estimated that there are some 820 million chronically undernourished people in the world.

The two-day World Food Day conference and exhibition seeks to promote awareness of the link between food security, nutrition and poverty eradication; discuss the challenges and opportunities in addressing food security and poverty alleviation in Jamaica; advocate food security and poverty eradication through education; and highlight initiatives that contribute to food security and poverty reduction in Jamaica.

Exhibitors include the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries; Ministry of Health; UTech’s Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies; UTech’s College of Health Sciences; The Food Basket; FAO; Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI); Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS); National Irrigation Commission (NIC); Jamaica Dairy Development Board; Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA); Jamaica 4-H Clubs; Ebony Park HEART Academy; College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE); Heart Foundation of Jamaica; Scientific Research Council (SRC); Natural History Museum of Jamaica; Institute of Jamaica (IOJ); and the National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST).

It is being staged by the UTECH/UNESCO-UNEVOC Centre for Research and Sustainable Development under the theme ‘Advocating Food Security, Good Nutrition and Poverty Eradication though Education”.