Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda.
Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, has described the annual Minard Livestock Show and Beef Festival in Brown’s Town, St. Ann, as a clear demonstration that agriculture is alive and well in Jamaica.
Addressing the 17th staging of the event on November 10, the Minister noted that agriculture sometimes finds itself on the ‘back burner’ of “our society’s psyche”, making events like the Minard festival “a timely reminder” of the importance of the sector.
“This event not only brings to the forefront highlights of the sector, but ensures that our future is bright. The enthusiasm and buzz demonstrate that our local agriculture has evolved beyond the image of an old man wearing a straw hat with a machete in one hand,” he said.
Mr. Samuda noted that the Ministry and its stakeholders are currently engaged in developmental activities that the youth will not only find attractive or exciting, but “oftentimes engage them or involve their own development”.
“We have been engaging the high schools and other tertiary institutions with small ruminant projects, ensuring that the industry becomes strong and contributes significantly to one’s family and also to our economy,” the Minister added.
“Institutions such as the College of Agriculture, Science and Education; Ebony Park HEART Academy; Knockalva and Dinthill have received benefits, and the results we see are tremendous,” he added.
The Minister pointed out that the Jamaica Dairy Development Board, which has a mandate to develop a sustainable local milk industry, has provided substantial assistance to the above-mentioned institutions in the form of dairy cows, equipment and forage planting materials.This enhances, not only the income-generating capabilities of these institutions, but will ensure that students are equipped practically with the capacity and techniques for managing a dairy operation, Mr. Samuda said.
The Minister noted further that both the Ministry and private-sector partners have engaged drone technology, allowing for the Fisheries Division to monitor the nation’s coastlines for illegal poachers from other countries who prey on the local maritime resources.
Members of the private sector are also using drone technology for the monitoring of farm operations as well as the application of inputs such as pesticides and herbicides; he added.
Many schools, especially from St. Ann, turned out for the Show.
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