Author: Racquel Porter
Photo by: Garfield Robinson
OUTGOING Jamaica Agriculture Society (JAS) president Senator Norman Grant has called for more support for the agriculture sector.
Grant said the sector, which he described as the bedrock and pillar of economic growth, contributes about seven per cent to the island’s Gross Domestic Product and employs 20 per cent of the nation’s labour force, and as such, should be given more support.
Grant made the plea at the launch of the 66th Denbigh Agriculture, Industrial and Food show at Hi-Pro Ace Supercentre at White Marl in Spanish Town, yesterday
“We are saying it is agriculture that is going to register significant growth for the Jamaican economy. The theme continues to be relevant, as since we launched the ‘Eat What We Grow’ campaign in 2003, it has just been a game-changer. He said that over the 14 years of the ‘Eat What We Grow’ campaign has saved the Jamaican economy US$500 million.
Said Grant: “Prior to the launch of the campaign, we were increasing our imports by a US$100 million per annum. Subsequent to the launch of the campaign that has been decreased to US$60 million per annum. Therefore the ‘Eat What We Grow ‘campaign has saved the Jamaican economy US$500 million per annum and we need to salute the work of our more than 250,000 farmers and fisherfolks because our farmers have also increased domestic crop — from 491,000 metric tonnes in 2003 to 668,000 metric tonnes in 2016 — and of course, there was a reduction in 2017, due to the disasters that the sector faced at that time,” Grant continued.