Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Anthony Johnson, has emphasised that more investments in agricultural development could ensure food security, as well as drive economic success in the hemisphere.
Addressing a food security conference, sponsored jointly by the Inter-American Institute for Co-operation in Agriculture (IICA) and the Organisation of American States (OAS), at the Hall of the Americas, downtown Washington D.C., on October 1, Ambassador Johnson said that agriculture, “which comprises not only crops, but livestock and fish, is critical to economic growth around the world, as for more than three-quarters of the world’s poor, farming is their only source of income and avenue to prosperity.”
Ambassador Johnson, who is also Permanent Representative to the OAS, told the large gathering that agriculture represented a vigorous engine for economies in this hemisphere, as economic power houses, such as Brazil and Argentina, have clearly shown, with 6.7 per cent and 9.9 per cent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) coming from agriculture.
Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Anthony Johnson (at podium), addresses participants at the opening of a food security conference, sponsored jointly by the Inter-American Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Organisation of American States (OAS), at the Hall of the Americas, downtown Washington D.C., on October 1. To the Minister’s right is the Regional Vice President of the Latin American Agribusiness Development Corporation, Mr. Oscar Luzuriaga Gomez.
“By investing in agriculture today, we make a choice to invest not only in our economic future, but in a powerful poverty reduction tool. Advancing agriculture allows rural farmers, who are most vulnerable to food shocks, to grow more food to feed their families and sell more of their products in commercial markets,” he said.
In his address, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Trade Policy and Programmes in the Bureau of Economics, Energy and Business Affairs in the US Department of Trade, Mr. William E Craft Jr., said that, “the Obama administration is committed to reducing hunger. He recognises that investing in agriculture is one of the ways to achieve this goal.”
Mr. Craft pointed out that the US government is committed to spend over US$3 billion on agricultural development over the next three years, and that for the year 2010, President Barak Obama has asked Congress for more than US$1 billion for agricultural development assistance worldwide, doubling the amount the US spent on agriculture in 2009.