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Minister Highlights Role Of Agriculture In Country’s Economic Development

Minister Highlights Role Of Agriculture In Country’s Economic Development
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang (2nd right), in discussion with (from left) Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Donovan Stanberry; President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society, Norman Grant, and Sales Representative, Paul Thompson, of Hi-Pro, during a tour of the Hi-Pro booth at the Montpelier Agricultural Show in St. James, on April 17.

KINGSTON (JIS) -- Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says agriculture continues to play a critical role in the country’s economic development. Dr. Chang, who was speaking at the annual Montpelier Agricultural Show in St. James on April 17, added that, along with tourism, agriculture represents one of the best foundations for growth and job creation, and remains critical to “reducing rural poverty”. “Agriculture is one of our most important sectors that we must continue to give our full support. We have to ensure that agriculture keeps pace, as that is a very important linkage that will fast-track this country on the road to economic prosperity,” he said.

Dr. Chang said it is important for the country to invest in commercialising value-added products and market these both locally and for export.

For his part, President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Norman Grant, hailed the organisers for putting on what he called “another first-class exhibition”.

He said while the agricultural slogan ‘Eat What You Grow, Grow What You Eat’ might now seem like a mere cliché, it has been shaving nearly $6 billion off the nation’s food-import bill since 2003.

Mr. Grant noted that the large turnout for the 36th staging of the Montpelier show was a telling indication that the sector is alive and well.

“Agriculture will never fail us… it is what has kept this nation together. It is the sector that continues to be that real engine of economic growth,” he said.