Jamaica Looking to Deepen Linkages Between Agriculture, Tourism

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - February 28, 2013

Above: State Minister in the Ministry of Tourism Damion Crawford, Jamaica Broilers CEO Christopher Levy and Chief Technical Officer in Ministry of Agriculture, Marc Panton (JIS Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Linking Jamaica’s agriculture and tourism sectors can help reduce the country’s import bill and increase local production, according to Tourism Minister Dr Wykeham McNeill.

The Minister, who was speaking at a consultation at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston Thursday, said Jamaica needed to make a greater effort to ensure that the country’s “homegrown produce and manufactured goods are used in the sector to ensure that the country retains more of what it earns.”

Jamaica’s government has already created a Task Force aimed at improving this relationship, employing representatives from the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Jamaica Agricultural Society and the Jamaica Manufacturers Association.

The Ministry of Tourism will itself create a unit for this purpose, McNeill said.

“We are going to pull all the discussions we have had with agriculture and manufacturing, with other areas, such as entertainment and transport, and what we will be doing is putting in place a policy document that deals specifically with deepening the linkages between tourism and all the other areas of our society,” he said.

JAS President Senator Norman Grant proposed offering an incentive for hotels to use locally grown produce.

Jamaica’s tourism sector’s consumption of local produce and meat is at about 10 percent, he said.

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