Photos: Jampro encourages investments in agriculture
Jamaica Promotions Corporation (Jampro) staged a one-day Agricultural Information Forum at Terra Nova Hotel on Tuesday, which exposed the island's farmers to opportunities and methods that can enhance their products.
Jampro selected speakers with relatable topics that kept the room full of farmers engaged for its duration, with the hope that they can increase local and international investment into the sector to support Jamaica's economic growth.
The event was used to highlight agriculture as an important business opportunity in Jamaica and emphasised the government's commitment to supporting the growth of the sector. The forum also demonstrated how private sector companies are successfully employing approaches such as contract farming to grow their businesses.
President of Jampro, Diane Edwards, explained, "why I think we needed this, is because there are so many services to agriculture and agribusiness that a lot of people don't really understand.
"A lot of these services are not being taken up sufficiently, so we need more farmers to understand what is available to them in the market to help them grow their farms and we need more people to get into farming and to understand the opportunities in farming. We did the 360 degree of what's available in agriculture," Edwards said.
Jampro agriculture forum
See more photos by Marlon Reid in the slider.
A topic that drew a lot of interest from the farmers was international markets and trade that was presented by Marlene Porter, sales and promotions manager of Jampro, who used statistics to highlight what the farmers can produce for export to markets such as the United States of America, Canada and the United Kingdom.
She explained that Jamaica is yet to fulfill the needs for tropical fruits like papaya, pine and mangoes to those markets with countries such as Brazil and Mexico being far ahead in their export.
Dr Derrick Deslandes, president of the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE), spoke on the innovations, opportunities and outlook in agriculture/agritechnology and asked the farmers to start using modern technology and methods to produce their crops.
Other topics discussed were: perspective to agriculture, the business of sustainable agriculture, creating opportunities for investment, accessing technical support through RADA, agricultural marketing support and incentives, getting ahead of the game, local linkages opportunity, financing agribusiness venture and perspective on anchor farm/contract farming.