JIS News

Minister of Agriculture, Roger Clarke has said that there was no difficulty in marketing Jamaica’s agriculture products.
“There is no marketing problem for Jamaican agricultural crops. All of our export crops have a ready market. If anything, we sometimes have a problem meeting the demand because of one setback or the other,” Minister Clarke said during his contribution to the 2005/2006 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (June 7).
He informed that the Ministry and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) have been providing farmers with marketing assistance under the Domestic Food Crop Project. “This is done by first identifying the markets and coordinating the production to meet the demand. Our market intelligence system is designed to receive information from farmers on the types of crops they plan to plant, the timing and the acreages,” he explained.
He pointed out that when farmers shared such information, the Ministry was in a better position to advise them on the volumes that were required, the available markets and the price they were likely to receive.
The Agriculture Minister noted that the Ministry had long removed itself from direct involvement in the business of marketing farmers’ crops and had instead left that process to the private sector.
It was for this reason, he said, that the Ministry strongly supported the Jamaica Agricultural Society’s (JAS) efforts to set up a central marketing company and to provide the organization with seed money and the use of cold storage facilities.
He noted however, that the Ministry facilitated the marketing process, “by identifying the markets, both local and export, coordinating the production and linking buyer and producer.”

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