JIS News

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  • Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) President, Senator Norman Grant, is pledging more to come from the entity in advancing the welfare of the farming community and the development of agriculture in Jamaica.
  • For his contribution to the sector, Senator Grant was conferred with the Order of Distinction, Officer Class, during the National Honours and Awards Ceremony at King’s House.
  • Senator Grant commended the Jamaican Government and, in particular, the Ministry of Agriculture on its strategies for rural development, irrigation support for farmers and for increasing access to credit and capital. He also recognised efforts to expand and develop rural road networks and farm road.

Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) President, Senator Norman Grant, is pledging more to come from the entity in advancing the welfare of the farming community and the development of agriculture in Jamaica.

“There is a lot more to come in terms of more service, more commitment to the development of the agricultural sector, the farmers and, by extension, the Jamaican economy,” he said.

With a firm belief that the agricultural sector is the surest path to the country’s economic independence and food security, Senator Grant has dedicated the past 32 years of his life to the development of the sector.

For his contribution to the sector, Senator Grant was conferred with the Order of Distinction, Officer Class, during the National Honours and Awards Ceremony at King’s House. He was among 222 outstanding Jamaican men and women honoured on the day.

In an interview with JIS News, Senator Grant said he was humbled by the national recognition, and made a commitment to continue his service.

“I will continue to serve the farmers of Jamaica and I see this (award) as the continuation of a journey of fellowship with the farmers and I am certainly always willing to serve my country and the organisations that I have been affiliated with,” he said.

A Chartered Accountant by profession, Senator Grant is President of the JAS, a position which he held between 2003 and 2009, and was re-elected in 2012.

In 2003, he pioneered and launched the ‘Eat Jamaican’ campaign under the theme: ‘Grow What We Eat…Eat What We Grow’ aimed at promoting an increase in the production and consumption of agricultural produce and improvement in the quality of local products.

At a 12th Anniversary celebration on October 14, Senator Grant hailed the campaign for helping to reduce the country’s import bill.

“The campaign has saved the country some US$500 million over the course of its existence. Domestic crop grew from 497,000 metric tons to 615,000 metric tons, a growth rate of 25 per cent, which means that domestic crop production has grown by two per cent per annum,” he told JIS News.

Senator Grant said he is especially proud of his work with youth training entity, Jamaica 4-H Clubs.

“This touches me especially because we are touching the hearts and the lives of young people, the young generation that will be here for years to come. (We have been) focusing on leadership skill, agriculture, agro-processing and now looking at entrepreneurship,” he said.

He is the current Chairman of the clubs’ board of management, a position he served in for 11 years between 2000 and 2011, and then from 2012 to present. He is also President of the Caribbean 4-H Council and Vice Chairman of the Global 4-H Network.

Under his leadership, Jamaica 4-H Clubs membership grew from 18,000 in 2000 to over 94,000 in March 2015, the largest in the Caribbean and the third largest in the world.

“(I am proud) just of my sheer involvement in helping to transform a number of the organisations that I have been associated with and their impact, the multiplier effect of those organisations on the lives of our people,” he said.

He is now Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Mavis Bank Coffee Factory Limited, an entity to which he has been employed for over 30 years. He was also instrumental in re-engineering the People’s Co-operative Bank.

Senator Grant commended the Jamaican Government and, in particular, the Ministry of Agriculture on its strategies for rural development, irrigation support for farmers and for increasing access to credit and capital. He also recognised efforts to expand and develop rural road networks and farm road.

Senator Grant is the founding Chairman of the Caribbean Farmers’ Network (CaFAN) which represents some 500,000 farmers in 14 countries in Caribbean region.

He was first appointed as Senator in May 2001 and later reappointed in 2002, 2008 and 2011, and represents the agricultural sector in the Upper House.