Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, has reiterated the importance of agricultural production in the economic and social development of the country.
Giving the main address at the 24th St. Mary Agri Expo and Industrial show, held at the St. Mary Sports Club in Annotto Bay, St. Mary, on April 5, the Governor-General said the changes currently occurring in the global community have helped to create many opportunities in the agricultural sector.
He argued that the difficulties presented by the global economic recession have made it necessary for Jamaica to strategise and rationalise its natural resources, in order to survive those difficulties, adding that the chances for survival increase significantly with the utilisation of opportunities in agriculture.
The Governor-General noted that there is a definite need to expand existing markets and create new ones, in order for the agricultural sector to maximise the benefits it can achieve. He also emphasised that it is critically important for Jamaicans to support the ‘grow what we eat and eat what we grow’ campaign currently being promoted by the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS).
He argued that this support would enable the country to achieve food security and rid it of the dependence on foreign foods.
The Governor-General said that the agricultural sector must contribute to the improvement in the quality of life for Jamaicans, and that the sector should be transformed into one which is information driven and technology based.
Commending the JAS for the success it has achieved in staging the show over the years, he congratulated the farmers of St. Mary for the contribution they have made to ensure the staging of the event.
The show, which was organised by the St. Mary Association of Branch Societies of the JAS, was held under the theme: ‘Grow what we eat and eat what we grow’.