Floyd Green discusses COVID-19 threat with key productive stakeholders
State Minister for Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green, on Thursday, met with stakeholders to discuss concerns and strategies to safeguard businesses against the background of the potential threat of the COVID-19 disease.
Among the issues discussed at the meeting were the availability of supplies for manufacturers, the need to guard against hoarding and price increases, as well as the need to ramp up production.
According to a statement from the ministry, Green joined with the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association (JMEA) in calling for increased productivity and urged manufacturers to resist price increases as much as possible.
Green also reportedly “urged the National Compliance Regulatory Authority and the Consumer Affairs Commission to increase their visits to supermarkets as well as the frequency of reports to consumers.”
The minister also mandated the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) to prepare a 2-3 month plan outlining how agricultural production will be increased, including supplying backyard gardening kits.
The ministry said it will be working closely with MSMEs and key players in the sector, including the EXIM Bank and the Jamaica Bankers’ Association (JBA) to ensure that MSMEs are implementing their business continuity strategies to minimise any impact from potential shocks.
Other initiatives to be explored include the establishment of a COVID-19 Hotline in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) and the National Disaster Committee. Additionally, there are to be meetings with the bankers regarding financing/refinancing of loans for businesses, where necessary.