JIS News

The Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), will be undertaking a study to examine the contribution of the agricultural sector to the economy.
“According to the official data, agriculture contributes six per cent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Even though the sector engages over 200,000 Jamaicans, if it is examined in purely economic terms, you might conclude that it is not a significant contributor,” Agriculture Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton said, at this week’s post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House. “If you add agro-processing, which is somewhere in the region of 30 per cent, then agriculture becomes more significant. If you examine the socio-economic impact and rural development, then one will have to conclude that agriculture is far more significant than GDP suggests,” he stated.
Dr. Tufton noted that once the study is completed, it will provide the Ministry with the necessary scientific data needed to expand and modernize the sector.
In the meantime, he disclosed that the Ministry is in the process of identifying technical personnel, to participate in an exchange programme in Costa Rica. The exchange programme, which will get underway next year, is being facilitated by the IICA.
The Minister said that while in Central America, these technical personnel will get a first hand view of the use of technology in greenhouse farming. “In Costa Rica, they will spend some time on these farms that are using greenhouse technology to acquaint themselves with the practices, so that when they return, they can become the critical technical support arm,” he explained.

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