Jamaica News: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says he wants to see samples of exotic products, such as cassava flour and ackee wine, being manufactured on a wider scale in order to add greater value to the agricultural sector.
“What I want now is for the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries to take those samples and turn them into widely available commodities that are on the shelves of, not just Jamaica, but the entire (Caribbean) region and the world, because that is how we add value and grow our economy,” he said.
The Prime Minister was speaking on the final day of the 66th Denbigh Agricultural and Industrial Show in Clarendon on Monday (August 6).
Meanwhile, Mr. Holness urged the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) to encourage young people, “who have a greater affinity to technology”, to get involved in agriculture.
He noted that they should be encouraged to be innovative by applying technology “to create a smarter kind of agriculture that will add more value to our natural resources, thereby increasing the pace and growth of the Jamaican economy.”
The Prime Minister noted, however, that while applying technology in agriculture may not necessarily surmount the competitive economies of scale that larger countries have, it could reposition Jamaica to the point where the island’s agriculture is economically viable and sustainable.
He contended that agriculture has, for too long, been regarded as a pastime, and emphasized that “now, we have to see agriculture as a business”.
Mr. Holness further noted that the sector can contribute to the growth of the country by continually adding value.
The Prime Minister, who toured the Denbigh Show ground earlier in the day, also commended the JAS on the successful staging of this year’s agricultural show, which was held from August 4 to 6.
Source: JIS News