El Ministerio de Agricultura firma un memorando para modernizar las ferias agrícolas
AGRICULTURE Minister Christopher Tufton yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Jamaica Agriculture Society (JAS) to provide rebranding and restructuring of agricultural shows staged islandwide by the society.
The minister inked the MOU after voicing strong concerns earlier this year that agriculture shows staged by the JAS were not reflecting "improvements or advancements" in the sector.
Speaking at yesterday's signing, Tufton said the shows are now to be promoted as 'agricultural, food and industrial shows', with a substantial focus on, but not limited to, food preparation and the consumption of local foods."
"The shows are important and are a great source of motivation to our farmers," Tufton declared at the MOU signing, held at the ministry's Old Hope Road offices in Kingston.
"They (agriculture shows) will now be under the distinguished patronage of the custos of the parish in which that particular show is being held, except for Kingston and St Andrew, in which case either custodes or both may be the patron of the show," Tufton added.
Other features of the agreement include the establishment of a parish committee, which will be responsible for the planning of each show with representation from the JAS, Rural Agriculture Development Authority (RADA), the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (to include cultural content); a farmers' market, and produce displays meeting minimum standards.
According to the ministry, each parish committee will receive a minimum $1 million from Government towards the staging of an agriculture show. The funds are to be disbursed 30 days prior to the staging of the event.
President of the JAS, Glendon Harris, welcomed the new measures, noting that the time was "most opportune to work in a collaborative way to advance the interest of the sector". He added that the JAS was willing to work with all stakeholders in the sector.