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  • The Senate has approved legislation to formally merge the functions of the Agricultural Marketing Corporation (AMC) under the Agro-Investment Corporation (AIC).
  • The Bill, the Agro-Investment Corporation (Amendment) Act, was passed today (June 4), without amendments.
  • Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Leslie Campbell, who piloted the Bill, said the merger is consistent with the Government’s Public Sector Master Rationalisation plan, which is aimed at creating a more efficient and effective public sector by merging public bodies that share synergies of functions and resources.

The Senate has approved legislation to formally merge the functions of the Agricultural Marketing Corporation (AMC) under the Agro-Investment Corporation (AIC).

The Bill, the Agro-Investment Corporation (Amendment) Act, was passed today (June 4), without amendments.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Leslie Campbell, who piloted the Bill, said the merger is consistent with the Government’s Public Sector Master Rationalisation plan, which is aimed at creating a more efficient and effective public sector by merging public bodies that share synergies of functions and resources.

He noted, too, that the AMC has been without a Board of Management from 2009, and since then, its functions have been conducted by the AIC.

“The proposed amendments to the Agro-Investment Corporation will seek to increase the efficiency of the Board, in light of the expansion of the functions of the Corporation. This would result in better management of the Corporation in accordance with the requirements of the Financial Administration and Audit Act and the Public Bodies Management and Accountability Act,” he said.

The Bill seeks to formalise the relationship between the AIC and the AMC by amending the Agro-Investment Corporation Act to entrust the functions of the AMC to the AIC and repeal the Agricultural Marketing Corporation Act.

It also seeks to strengthen the effectiveness of the AIC by increasing its membership and diversifying the qualifications and skill sets of the members, and to further increase the functions of the AIC, including empowering the entity to mobilise and manage a pool of funds to be used to enhance the competitiveness of Jamaican agriculture in the domestic and global markets.

Mr. Campbell said the Agro-Investment Corporation is an agricultural and investment facilitation advisory and management company that functions as the business facilitation department in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries with a focus on agricultural investment, promotion and facilitation, project development and market development.

He pointed out that the term ‘agro invest’ covers the investment chain from the identification of opportunities through feasibility studies, due diligence and business planning to fundraising, project management, long-term business performance monitoring and technical support.

Mr. Campbell noted, too, that the Agro-Investment Corporation plays an integral role in Jamaica’s agricultural sector and has been on a drive to consolidate its efforts around the creation of a modern business model.

Welcoming the Bill, Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate, Peter Bunting, said it seeks to modernise the institutional infrastructure to support agriculture and, ultimately, farmers.

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