Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, has pointed out that an agricultural marketing facility would be set up in the New York area of the USA soon, as the Ministry seeks to better understand the end users in the marketplace and take advantage of emerging trends.
He argued that in order to market Jamaican products, “we need to determine who the people are who want to consume our produce and what they are willing to pay for those products.”
Dr. Tufton was delivering the keynote address at an investment seminar, entitled ‘Investing in the Future of Jamaica: Opportunities in Agriculture’, sponsored by the Embassy of Jamaica, on September 10, at the Embassy in Washington, D.C.
The Minister emphasised that the country has to look at the value-added component of what is grown, so that “we can earn more from the efforts we put into agriculture.”
Dr. Tufton said that despite the challenges of the financial crisis, there were numerous investment opportunities available in the agricultural sector, which was the largest employer in the country, accounting for 20 per cent of the workforce and six per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The Minister pointed out that there was a wide range of agricultural opportunities for private individuals and organisations to partner with the Government to help grow the agricultural sector.
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton (left), accepts a signed copy of the book entitled, ‘Reaper of the Souls’, a novel about the 1957 Kendal crash, from Jamaican author and handwriting specialist, Ms. Beverly East. Looking on is Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Anthony Johnson. The presentation took place at an investment seminar entitled, ‘Investing in the Future of Jamaica: Opportunities in Agriculture’, at the Jamaican Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, September 10.
He said that a primary focus of the Ministry was to articulate to the country that Jamaicans have to “take an active role and invest more in the foods that we consume,” and that Jamaicans would have to consume more locally produced food in order to minimise imports and cushion the effects of the global financial crisis.
At the function, Dr. Tufton participated in a book signing ceremony, featuring Jamaican author and handwriting specialist, Ms. Beverly East, and her latest work, ‘Reaper of the Souls’, a novel about the 1957 Kendal crash.
Dr. Tufton is on a six-day official visit to Washington, D.C., on the invitation of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
On Tuesday, September 15, the Minister will hold talks with the Capital Market and Financial Institution Division Chief of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Mr. Kurt Focke. He will also hold talks with World Bank officials.
Minister Tufton and his delegation will meet with representatives of the World Cocoa Federation on September 16, where he is expected to sign documents for support of future initiatives within the cocoa industry.
The objective of the Minister’s visit is to explore with potential investors, business opportunities for moving the island’s cocoa industry up the value-added chain, as well as to explore partnerships to provide technical support to the industry.