Jamaica News: The island’s farmers are being encouraged to diversify agricultural production and grow more non-traditional crops for the export market.
Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, who made the call, said that crops such as caster beans, sorghum, cannabis, coconuts and industrial hemp are in high demand overseas.
He disclosed that a major coconut farmer from Guyana is setting up an operation in Jamaica on 2,000 acres of land, to take advantage of the country’s strategic location for export to the Western Hemisphere.
“There is money in the coconut sector,” the Minister said.
He was delivering the keynote addresses at the media launch of the Caribbean International Bamboo Symposium on September 5 at his New Kingston offices in St. Andrew.
Minister Shaw noted that over 45,000 acres of former sugar lands in St. Catherine and Clarendon are to be rationalised and the Sugar Company of Jamaica (SCJ) is accepting applications from entrepreneurs to put them into profitable production.
Meanwhile, he welcomed the staging of the Caribbean International Bamboo Symposium, which will take place from November 27 to 29 at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.
He said that bamboo can be a major crop for Jamaica, and the forum will “provide for us the avenue to plot a strategic way towards unleashing the potential of this sector”.
The Ministry is partnering with the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ), International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Bamboo Industry Association of Jamaica (BIAJ), the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) and other agencies to host the symposium.
Source: JIS News