11/26/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/26/2020 13:21
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Floyd Green (right), presents Jamaica 4-H Club member and student of the Papine High School, Rihanna Simpson (centre) with a poinsettia at the Eat Jamaican Day National Ceremony on the lawns of the Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry in Kingston on November 25. At left is her teacher, Jodian Thomas.
Cabinet has approved a US$25million ($3.7billion) loan towards a Modernisation of Agriculture Programme, aimed at increasing agricultural productivity and ensuring that there are greater income streams for small farmers.
Making the disclosure, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Floyd Green, said the funds are to be spent in the sector over the next five years and will also address areas of agricultural health, food safety, and training for farmers in the areas of pesticides use to be able to qualify for external markets.
'One of the things that I am very excited about is that this programme will help us treat with the issue of financing for agriculture. It will allow us to work through counterpart funding with our private sector to develop appropriate facilities that our farmers can have access to finance,' the Minister said.
He was speaking at the Eat Jamaican Day National Ceremony on the lawns of the Ministry in Kingston on November 25.
Meanwhile, Interim Chief Executive Officer of the National Fisheries Authority (NFA), Courtney Cole, in his remarks, urged Jamaicans to consume more fish for Eat Jamaican Day and beyond and listed Basa and tilapia among them.
He said Jamaican's currently consume about 17.26 kilogrammes of fish and there is a need to increase this amount to the mid-high 20's.
Mr. Cole pointed out that there are enormous opportunities to be had from the blue economy through the development of new and underutilized fisheries and aquaculture and the NFA will ensure that the sector is poised to take advantage of them.
A few of these include small scale longline fishing, sea cucumbers, seas urchins and the fishing of tunas, glass eels, Irish moss/seaweed and even ornamental fish.
For his part, First Vice President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Denton Alvaranga expressed gratitude to the Ministry and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) for its 17 years of support to the Eat Jamaican Campaign.
Mr. Alvaranga pointed out that while Jamaica is self-sufficient in areas of pork, chicken and eggs, more needs to be done in the area of legumes, which has seen a consistent decline in recent years.
He encouraged farmers to plant more red peas, gungo peas, cow beans and sugar beans to increase.
Launched in November 2003, the Eat Jamaican Campaign promotes greater consumption of locally produced foods among Jamaicans to boost the country's food security.