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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been supporting the growth of agriculture and tourism in Jamaica.
  • Speaking with JIS News, UNDP Resident Representative in Jamaica, Bruno Pouezat, pointed out that small farmers receive support to develop more efficient farming and water-control techniques, better selection of seeds and fertilisers and better management approaches to farming.
  • He said the objective is to foster an environment where farmers can supply the hotels with the quantity and quality of produce that they require, noting that both the tourism and agriculture sectors can benefit tremendously from each other.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been supporting the growth of agriculture and tourism in Jamaica.

Through funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the UNDP has provided for implementation of more than 70 projects across a number of parishes to boost farming.

Projects include rainwater harvesting, sustainable agriculture, land management and watershed protection, renewable energy and biodiversity conservation.

Speaking with JIS News, UNDP Resident Representative in Jamaica, Bruno Pouezat, pointed out that small farmers receive support to develop more efficient farming and water-control techniques, better selection of seeds and fertilisers and better management approaches to farming.

He said the objective is to foster an environment where farmers can supply the hotels with the quantity and quality of produce that they require, noting that both the tourism and agriculture sectors can benefit tremendously from each other.

“We want to help emerge in Jamaica a farming industry that can support the tourism industry, so that the valuable foreign exchange earned by tourism does not go into imports of fruits and vegetables that could be grown in Jamaica,” Mr. Pouezat pointed out.

The UNDP is also supporting initiatives in sustainable tourism in order to ensure that more of the tourism dollar remains in Jamaica and benefits the surrounding communities. “We want tourism to remain an engine for growth across the spectrum and help improve the quality of jobs and education,” Mr. Pouezat said.

He noted that other branches of the UN have been working with Jamaica over the years to attain this objective.

He pointed out that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared the Blue and John Crow Mountains a World Heritage Site, and this “global label is a calling card that Jamaica has around the world to encourage tourists to visit, learn and understand about the connection with the maroon communities”.

Mr. Pouezat added that the UNDP has been working to strengthen the management of the system of the protected areas around Jamaica, including the communities in the Blue Mountains, to better manage the resource and be able to retain the benefits of tourism for the local communities.

“So it is about getting the tourists in these areas to get an appreciation and to work with the communities to help them see the value of the protected areas as an asset for them,” he added.

“Jamaica is more than sun, sea and sand… . It has the interior of the country to explore, the geography, geology, the natural resources, the culture, the music, the food and an interesting urban environment that deserves to be invested in and promoted, so that tourists have a chance to discover the history of Jamaica through its urban centres,” Mr. Pouezat said.