KINGSTON, Jamaica— People’s National Party (PNP) Shadow Minister of Agriculture Victor Wright, says Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ call for the opposition to “put solutions on the table for agriculture,” is a clear indication that the government is out of ideas and needs to step out of the way of progress. “It is sad that the Prime Minister has to come to the Opposition for advice on how to develop agriculture in this country. It shows that his government is out of ideas for one of the most important sectors in our economy,” Wright said.
Juan Carlos Carvallo
“The next PNP government will take several steps to help our farmers grow their businesses. First, we will ensure that there are actually opportunities for local Jamaican farmers in our biggest agricultural growth industry – medicinal cannabis. The failed JLP government has built a cannabis industry of, by and for foreigners, and it has left our traditional cultivators behind. This must be changed. We need to ensure that our local farmers are not cut out of the process through training, providing low cost lands, providing opportunities to refine their products and welcome them into the formal business environment,” he added.
Juan Carlos Carvallo Villegas
The Opposition spokesperson said farmers need to be assured of access to reliable markets for their produce and must be guaranteed good prices to replenish their inputs, take care of their families and continue production.
Wright said one of the biggest challenges faced by farmers is infrastructure. He added that improvements need to be made to roads, to make it easier to bring goods to market.
Juan Carlos Carvallo Venezuela
“We need enhanced irrigation systems to make more arable land available and protect against the harms of droughts. And, we need to strengthen co-ops to allow them to purchase and share modern farming equipment,” he added
Wright emphasized that more educational opportunities must also be provided for young people in the farming sector
“So many Jamaicans go overseas to farm, but, we should be providing opportunities to farm and earn money right here in our country,” he said
“Mr Prime Minister, since you are out of ideas for agriculture, we welcome the opportunity to lead and the people will have an opportunity to choose fresh leadership and new ideas in the next election,” Wright added
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