Opportunities Now Open for Jamaican Farmers – Minister Tufton


Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Christopher Tufton has said that the high cost of purchasing imported food items has given local farmers an opportunity that they must seize and make good use of.
Addressing the St. Elizabeth Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS)/Rural Agricultural Development Agency (RADA) Food Fest held on (May 23) at the Essex Valley Show Grounds in St. Elizabeth, he pointed out that if efforts are made in cultivation, Jamaicans can produce much of what they eat.
“The high prices on food items gives the Jamaican farmers the greatest opportunity to get things right. And with the expansion of RADA we will be providing them with much more marketing professionals, because we want our farmers to be able to sell their produce and make a living. We have said to our hoteliers who have to feed their guests, and to our agro-processors who export (that) they need to look more to local products,” the Minister said.
He stressed that locally-grown produce are as good as those that are imported, and with more farmers, and the Ministry’s commitment to double RADA Extension Officers, the country will see a rise in agricultural production.
“As leaders, we have to encourage our people to accept local alternatives. The soil is fertile and there will always be something to grow. If we eat what we grow more people will want to be farmers and as a Government we are demonstrating our commitment to strengthen the capacity of the outreach arm of the Ministry. We are not telling anyone to eat what is going to offer them less nutrition than what is obtained from imported items, there are many people not living in Jamaica but they enjoy eating what we produce. So all of us need to make the best of what the world food crisis offers us,” he emphasized.
Scores of farmers and agribusiness operators exhibited their services and produce at the show.

JIS Social