Jamaica’s Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Mr Audley Shaw, recently stated that his government is looking to expand agro-processing for local consumption and export.
He noted that four distinct markets are being targeted – CARICOM, the Jamaican Diaspora, hotels, and the school food programme. The AMC complex on Spanish Town Road, Kingston, is to become a modern facility for the processing of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Minister Shaw, in emphasising the valued-added to the agricultural sector from agro-processing, noted for example, that “when pumpkin is processed into purée and sweet potato is parboiled they can have up to a two-year shelf life, and that is the direction of where agriculture is heading. What you can’t sell fresh, you can process.”
He was speaking at the College of Agriculture, Science and Education’s (CASE) Founder’s Day held on January 25 at the college campus in Passley Gardens, Portland.
St. Lucia’s Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Physical Planning, Natural Resources and Co-operatives, Ezechiel Junior Joseph, in his remarks, said Jamaica’s agriculture programme is “moving in the right direction.”