Hon Karl Samuda (centre), Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, in discussion with Norman Grant (left), President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), at the 122nd Annual General Meeting of the JAS, held at the Denbigh Showground in Clarendon on July 12. At right is Christopher Emmanuel, CEO of JAS.
The 65th staging of the Denbigh Agricultural Show will go on. That’s the word from Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, as he addressed hundreds of farmers at the 122nd Annual General Meeting of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) on Wednesday, July 12 at the Showground in Denbigh, Clarendon.
Minister Samuda’s declaration comes in the wake of concerns about the staging of the annual agricultural show due to concerns raised by the Public Health Department regarding sanitation issues at the showground.
“This Show carries additional significance,” said Minister Samuda, acknowledging concerns raised about the facilities at the venue and indicating that steps had been taken to address those concerns.
“As long as Karl Samuda is Minister of Agriculture, the Denbigh Show will never fail to be presented to the people of Jamaica,” he declared.
The Minister’s assurance was supported by JAS President Norman Grant, who in his address outlined a number of measures which have been taken to ensure satisfactory preparation of the grounds and arrangements for food handling permits for the August 5-7 show.
A sum of $12.5 million, Mr Grant said, had been allocated by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce Agriculture and Fisheries to the JAS towards the staging of the Denbigh Show.
In a wide-ranging address to the JAS AGM, Minister Samuda expressed full support for the organisation in its efforts to build the agriculture sector.
Minister Samuda acknowledged several challenges being confronted by the sector, such as adverse weather conditions, pest infestation and praedial larceny, but expressed confidence in the process of developing a modern agriculture sector now under way.
Minister Samuda stressed the importance of agriculture in achieving economic growth and stated that political divisiveness and partisanship should be shunned.
“We don’t want, nor will we promote PNP farmers; we will not promote JLP farmers; we want Jamaican farmers,” the agriculture minister stated.
“We want to promote agriculture as an essential activity for the development of our country, regardless of your political affiliation, and everyone must be entitled to the benefits that will flow to those people involved in agriculture in this country, on a fair basis and with transparency,” Minister Samuda added.
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