The members of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica in the agricultural sector would like to commend the level of accountability displayed by the Government and particularly former Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green after his recent breach of the COVID19 containment measures. We were disappointed by his action and inexcusable lapse of judgment at a time when we need a united and cohesive approach to tackle the pandemic. Mr. Green’s swift resignation was necessary for accountability.

We hope that this precedence is maintained and that Jamaicans can now expect a similar standard from our political directorate going forward.

Agriculture is a key industry that employs approximately 200,000 Jamaicans. It is critical for self-sufficiency and linkages with tourism and agro-processing which needs to be modernized for sustainable growth. In September 2020, the creation of a standalone ministry for agriculture and fisheries allowed for specific focus on the sector. This was a key factor in clearly defining the focus of the ministry on food security, agri-business development, climate-smart technology and export expansion. 

While we acknowledge the relationship between agriculture and fisheries, and industry and commerce, we believe that the breadth and significance of the agriculture portfolio requires a dedicated ministry with a dedicated minister to provide the necessary attention.  

We, therefore, request Prime Minister Holness to reconsider the merging of the agriculture, fisheries, commerce and industry portfolio and implore him to seek to identify a dedicated Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries to oversee the transformation of the sector.