Fri | Oct 15, 2021

PSOJ calls for agriculture ministry to be given its own minister

Published:Saturday | September 18, 2021 | 12:46 PM
The organisation wants Prime Minister Andrew Holness to seek to identify a dedicated Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries to oversee the transformation of the sector - Contributed photo.

The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) says the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries needs its own dedicated minister given the breadth and significance of the sector.

Audley Shaw, the current Minister of Investment, Industry and Commerce, has been given temporary responsibility for agriculture and fisheries following Wednesday's resignation of Floyd Green.

Green stepped down after a video emerged showing him among maskless patrons at a controversial birthday party held this week in defiance of COVID-19 protocols. 

The PSOJ has commended the level of accountability displayed by the Government and particularly Green.

In a statement, the organisation stated that it hopes that this precedence is maintained and that Jamaicans can now expect a similar standard from our political directorate going forward.  

Nevertheless, the PSOJ is noting that agriculture is a key industry that employs approximately 200,000 Jamaicans.

In September 2020, the creation of a standalone ministry for agriculture and fisheries allowed for a specific focus on the sector.

This, the PSOJ is arguing, was a key factor in clearly defining the focus of the ministry on food security, agri-business development, climate-smart technology and export expansion.   

“While we acknowledge the relationship between agriculture and fisheries, and industry and commerce, we believe that the breadth and significance of the agriculture portfolio requires a dedicated ministry with a dedicated minister to provide the necessary attention.”    

The PSOJ is calling for Prime Minister Andrew Holness to reconsider the merging of the agriculture, fisheries, commerce and industry portfolio and implore him to seek to identify a dedicated Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries to oversee the transformation of the sector. 

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