Holness cites relevance of agriculture to growth agenda
Prime Minister Andrew Holiness has drilled down on the critical importance of the productive sector, including agriculture, to the country's growth agenda.
In addressing Monday's closing day of the annual Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show in Clarendon amid intense and sustained rainfall which was not enough to halt the 66th staging of the event, Holiness pointed to the relevance of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) and its deep rooted connectivity within the farming sector.
He said Jamaica, with an average growth of just under one per cent per annum over the last 40 years, definitely needs to solve what he described as the "growth conundrum".
'To solve the problem of poverty, we have to solve the growth problem," declared Holness.
He said much investment is now coming into the country, but said they will not all automatically contribute to national economic growth.
The prime minister said innovation will be critical going forward, if the country is to secure the desired levels of economic growth.
He said the world is now into the fourth industrial revolution, with technological application being now critical in areas like agriculture.
He said as a society. Jamaica will have to better apply technology in agriculture to meet the challenges of factors like climate change.
Additionally, he said there is a definite need for more youth in agriculture to develop newer and better ideas to develop the sector.
He cited the logic behind his merger of the former ministries of Industry and Commerce and Agriculture and Fisheries, which he said was intended to more directly link farmers with the business sector and environment.
In declaring that farming should no longer be viewed as simply a pastime, Holness said it is "also no longer something for just (old) 'Mass Joe' to do".