Sat | Sep 21, 2019

Tourism needs J$40b in agri supplies, says Bartlett

Published:Wednesday | May 22, 2019 | 12:06 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says the booming local tourism sector needs approximately J$40 billion in supplies from the agricultural sector to satisfy the demands of the millions of visitors who come to Jamaica annually.

According to Bartlett, the figure emerged from a study he commissioned from a group from The University of the West Indies.

“For your benefit, I just want to mention that the demand has indicated is that there is a $40-billion demand for agricultural supplies for the tourism industry,” said Bartlett, who was speaking at an all-island chamber of commerce meeting in Montego Bay on Saturday night. “And then there is a $2-billion demand for manufactured goods for the industry.”

Bartlett said poultry and seafood ranked very high, representing 75 per cent of demand.

According to the tourism minister, the demand for locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs, cereals, and grains constitutes the majority of the remaining 25 per cent. Tubers and fresh produce such as legumes and teas complete the list.

NEW FOCUS

“So what that represents, therefore, are the layers of productive activities that we must now focus on and invest against in order to reduce the leakages that we are talking about,” said Bartlett.

“We are seeing of the $2-billion demand which exists for manufactured goods that the highest level of requirement for us is with processed foods. And what do we mean by processed food? It means canned mackerel, canned sardines, canned nectars, canned juices, jellies. It means ice cream, but it also means condiments, and it means pepper mash, and it means potato mash, tomato paste,” said Bartlett.

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