Thu | Sep 28, 2023

JAS heads to court on Wednesday

Published:Saturday | March 25, 2023 | 1:05 AMChristopher Serju/Senior Gleaner Writer

The case against the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) brought by one of its affiliates, the Westmoreland Association of Branch Societies against its board of directors, seeking to have the nomination for election of officers reopened, is set for mention in the Supreme Court on Wednesday, March 29.

The case stems from an injunction filed by Ian Hill, a member of the Westmoreland Association of Branch Societies, to have the nominations for the positions of president, first vice-president and second vice-president reopened, contending that the nominations which were opened in October 2021 and closed in November 2021 were not in keeping with the provisions of the organisation’s constitution.

Six individuals had been duly nominated and approved by the board – Clifton Grant and Albert Green for the post of president; Owen Dobson and Tamisha Lee for first vice-president; and Kayan Whyne and Trevor Bernard for second vice-president.

That court action stalled a long-overdue annual general meeting at which Fulton and his first vice-president, Denton Alvaranga, were expected to tender their resignations. The current executive was installed on July 2018 for a three-year term.

Hill is pressing for the reopening of nominations to allow for a broader slate of candidates to vie for the three executive positions but President Fulton has rejected that assertion, contending that the nominations were constitutional and there is no need to revisit the process.

Meanwhile, with the Government having served notice in 2022 of its intention to offload the JAS from its coffers in May 2023, that timeline now seems unrealistic, according to Fulton.

“It is not likely to happen. It cannot happen for this financial year, I don’t see the possibility,” he told The Gleaner.

However, despite the court action, Fulton said that all JAS activities would go ahead as planned, including its annual Farmers’ Month observations in April and the different agricultural shows staged by parish associations.