Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, has appealed for increased investments in the agricultural sector, citing significant opportunities from growing local produce. Speaking at the launch of the “Eat Jamaican’ Campaignat the Coronation Market, downtown Kingston, Dr, Tufton said that, based on the sector’s performance, it was an opportune time for investors to get involved by applying entrepreneurship and creativity to improving production systems, through investment and better management.
The Minister cited peppers, ginger and cocoa as products which have performed well over the past two years, pointing out that fruits and vegetables, which have a niche market, needed investments as Government alone could not do it.
“I am prepared to sit with you, to talk to you, not just about opportunities that exist, but how we can facilitate your engagement in that process, either through policy, through legislation, through accommodation or facilitation; as long as it’s going to lead to greater value being created, jobs being created, foreign exchange being earned or saved, and overall, a more improved and sustainable agricultural sector,” he said
Dr. Tufton also urged persons involved in the “value chain”, inclusive of farmers, higglers and distributors, to play their part in enhancing the agricultural sector’s outputs.
“You must provide good service, provide good products and identify with what you do in a way that promotes and supports consumption and, in so doing, ensure that there is going to be continuity tomorrow and days ahead,” the Minister implored.
The Eat Jamaican Campaign is a $17.2 million joint initiative involving the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), European Union (EU) and the Ministry, promoting the consumption of locally produced foods, specifically from increased production and productivity, while enhancing food security.
The campaign, which will be implemented across Jamaica over three months, will utilize a multi-faceted media approach, including a series of road shows, radio and television commercials and advertisements and recipe and cooking competitions and displays.