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  • Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, is urging young farmers to focus on production for the export market.
  • Minister Samuda was addressing a graduation ceremony for 22 young farmers held on Friday (March 18) at Hope Gardens, St. Andrew.
  • Mr. Samuda, in congratulating the graduates, assured them of the Ministry’s full support in utilising the skills learnt “for the prosperity of their families and the country.”

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, is urging young farmers to focus on production for the export market.

“Agriculture offers one of the greatest opportunities to earn foreign exchange and to make our contribution to the creation of wealth,” he said.

Minister Samuda was addressing a graduation ceremony for 22 young farmers held on Friday (March 18) at Hope Gardens, St. Andrew.

            The group of farmers participated in a two-week intensive entrepreneurial training course, which covered nutraceutical plant establishment and processing; basic bio-based laboratory skills; as well as good agricultural practices.

Training was conducted at the Scientific Research Council (SRC) in St. Andrew and the Jamaica 4-H Clubs training facility in Rosehall, St. Catherine.

Mr. Samuda, in congratulating the graduates, assured them of the Ministry’s full support in utilising the skills learnt “for the prosperity of their families and the country.”

The Minister said he will always have time “for young people, who want advice and assistance, especially in the field of agriculture combined with entrepreneurial activity.”

The graduates are the second cohort of trainees under the Young Nutraceutical Farmers training course being undertaken by National Commission on Science and Technology (NCST) in collaboration with the Jamaica 4-H Clubs.

The aim is to build the capacity of young farmers in various aspects of the nutraceutical sector in order to promote the sustainable development of a national industry.

More than 1,000 youth are to be trained in nutraceutical farming over a three-year period.

The training is designed to develop their capacity to grow and process nutraceutical plants into viable products, incorporating good agricultural and manufacturing practices.

Subsequent to the training, support will be offered in the form of stipends for internships and seedlings for planting to encourage entrepreneurship.

The global nutraceutical industry is projected to be valued at $600 billion by 2018. There are 160 plants known and declared worldwide as having medicinal properties. Of that number 86 are endemic in Jamaica.