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Jamaica’s agriculture minister calls for greater collaboration within region

By Mickella Anderson

KINGSTON, Jamaica, (JIS) – As Caribbean nations look to recover from global external shocks, agriculture and fisheries minister, Pearnel Charles Jr., is calling for greater collaboration within the region in sharing the tools and solutions to pave the way forward.

The minister was speaking at a courtesy call with Bahamian minister of agriculture, marine resources and family island affairs, Clay Sweeting, at the ministry, in Kingston, July 26.

“It is wise for us, as we start to re-emerge in the recovery stage, to make sure that we never forget the discussion around building resilience as a region and how we’re going to help each other to make sure that whatever tools and solutions we have, we share,” the minister reasoned.

He cited a difficult past two years for the region, plagued with devastating global challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and the Russia/Ukraine conflict. This is especially concerning given the similar vulnerabilities shared by Caribbean countries.

To this end, Charles Jr. told his Bahamian counterpart that the Jamaican government is “committed to ensuring that whatever support we can give to The Bahamas, whatever mutual exchange of technical support or other forms of support, we are willing, particularly in a time when it is most needed”.

In his remarks, Sweeting pointed out that Jamaica has done “extremely well” with certain subsectors of agriculture, such as poultry, and informed that his country is looking to revive that sector for its farmers.

On the other hand, the Bahamian agriculture minister noted that his country has been successful in the fisheries sector and “we’d be glad to help [Jamaica] in any way we can”.

“We’re hoping that we can garner some knowledge from you, Jamaica. We look forward to the partnerships and how we can develop our relationship as we move forward,” Sweeting said.

Also present were the minister of state and the chief technical director in the ministry of agriculture and fisheries, Franklin Witter and Courtney Cole, respectively; and the parliamentary secretary, Bahamian ministry of agriculture, marine resources and family island affairs, Leonardo Lightbourne.



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