JIS News

Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Christopher Tufton, has said that the Ministry is developing a new agricultural model that will boost production and ensure more dependability and consistency in agricultural supplies. Dr. Tufton, addressing a workshop held as part of the Jamaica Stock Exchange’s investment and capital markets conference held recently in Montego Bay, said that the new model, which is expected to transform the agricultural industry, will involve private sector interests.
“What we have done is develop a model that will see a mother farm, a processing facility that is driven by private sector interest and a series of satellite farms within a geographic area supported by technical expertise from the Ministry through RADA (Rural Agricultural Development Authority), that will provide consistency of output production that will feed into the processing facility,” he outlined. He said that the packaging facility “is expected to provide things like storage, semi-processing, grading, packaging and logistics management.” As part of the effort, the Ministry will be looking to triple the number of greenhouses across the island over the next two years. There are some 40 greenhouses in operation.
Stating that the model should address the problems of inconsistency of supplies to the tourism sector, Dr. Tufton said: “we are on a programme now where we are seeking to establish linkages with the hotels from an agricultural perspective, using the greenhouse technology and creating clusters. We have to engage the small farmers.” Pointing to the potential for small business development, he said “the implications of that is that a series of cottage industries or small businesses can pop up all over Jamaica but there are so many other areas of opportunities that could also be addressed.”

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