I commend the invaluable contribution of the G20 Chair, and the Government of Argentina to sustainable agricultural development and food security goals.
I also thank the Government of Argentina for the gracious hospitality that has been extended to us.
On the behalf of the CARICOM region, Jamaica wishes to congratulate you on the excellent job which you have done in your current position as chair of the G20.
We would like to publicly thank the Government and the people of Argentina for leading from the front. To this end, we like to acknowledge the new technical cooperation programme between the Government of Argentina and CARICOM countries, including Jamaica, in the areas of soil and water management and the strengthening of the phytosanitary system.
Mr. Chairman, as small developing states, the Caribbean welcomes the focus on soils; information and communications technologies; food loss and waste; trade, investment and transparency of agricultural markets; and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) at this meeting, all in the effort to build sustainable global agriculture.
We recognise the urgent need to address the issue of soil degradation and loss and its impact on agriculture’s production and productivity, which will in turn affect other areas of life and all sectors of the economy.
We welcome and are delighted to be involved in this joint Declaration of G20 Agriculture Ministers.
In the Caribbean, a renewal of growth in agriculture is making significant contribution to national development. At the same time we are facing the challenges posed by climate change and recognise the need to build the resilience of the agricultural sector.
Indeed, over the past five (5) years, the Caribbean’s agriculture sectors have been affected by shifts in weather patterns and have experienced significant episodes of prolonged droughts, frequent intense rainfall, flooding and hurricanes. Climate-related natural disasters, especially hurricane and drought, could result in losses estimated at US$22 billion annually by 2050 throughout the Caribbean.
For us, therefore, climate change and the need for climate adaptation and mitigation is not a fiction, but a reality we live with daily. The recent weather-related disaster totally devastated the economies of several member states, which resulted in the loss of 230% of GDP in some territories.
Mr. Chairman, this has forced CARICOM member states to incorporate climate change adaptation strategies and methods in every aspect of agricultural planning and production towards the attainment of food security.
In Jamaica, we are moving to build resilience through the following initiatives:
o By expanding areas with access to irrigation.
o By increasing our efforts to establish agricultural insurance schemes and
o By implementing more drought-resistant measures such as water harvesting and storage.
We cannot succeed in addressing the challenge of climate change without global action, we therefore urge the G20 to continue their valuable efforts in this area.
Finally, Mr Chairman, let me also add that for further growth and development of agriculture within the Caribbean to take place, there needs to be the expansion of agro-industries, including through production integration and regional value chain development, as well as the strengthening of the region’s sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) regime. Also, the development and exploitation of the blue economy.
I recognise the important role of this G20 meeting in shaping a global agenda for agriculture that will significantly contribute to the betterment of the Caribbean people.
Mr. Chairman, you can be assured of Jamaica’s commitment, and, by extension, that of the Caribbean to these goals and the work of the G20 in the years ahead.
I thank you.
Welcome to the official website of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries.
The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF) has been charged with the responsibility of driving the integration of the production of primary agricultural produce along all the stages of the supply chain through to value added and facilitating full commercialization of outputs of the agriculture, manufacturing, and service sectors.
We have, therefore, placed much energy and enthusiasm into the development of this website to provide timely information on the Ministry, our agencies and programmes.
4 St. Lucia Avenue, Kingston 5, Jamaica
Telephone: (876) 968-7116
Fax: (876) 960-7422
Hope Gardens, Kingston 6, Jamaica
Telephone: (876) 927-1731-50 / (876) 619-1731