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Shaw leads mission in London to promote Jamaica's agricultural industry

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw is currently leading a five-day mission in London to promote Jamaica's agricultural sector for investment and export of the island's fresh produce and food-based products.

The mission commenced yesterday, according to a release from the ministry today.

The ministry said the mission, which includes JAMPRO President, Diane Edwards, began with attendance at agricultural investment forum Global AgInvesting Europe.

The investment forum is said to be the world's premier agriculture investment conference series, attracting hundreds of attendees working in the agricultural value chain, including global agricultural investors, agricultural technology entrepreneurs, fund managers, venture capitalists and researchers.

Shaw will meet with players in the agricultural industry and buyers in London, and speak at JAMPRO's Investors' Dinner tonight and Buyers' Luncheon tomorrow, the ministry said.

It further noted that the United Kingdom continues to be a key area for expansion in export sales as the market falls within Jamaica's top three markets for export each year.

It said there is steady growth in interest from UK buyers for Jamaican brands and private labelling; and from investors seeking opportunities for partnership on feasible agriculture projects.

In response to these developments, Shaw said that Jamaica was on a journey of transformation that would take Jamaica's agricultural industry to the next level.

He said: “Over the last five years we have embarked on an aggressive programme to transform Jamaica's agricultural landscape. This includes the build out of large agro-industrial parks to create a logistics supply chain which will optimise production, sorting, packing and export of agro-processed products, these agro-parks we want to become central hubs to supply the region.” The minister noted that with these developments, the country was open for business and ready for investment and trade interests in the United Kingdom.

Edwards in the meantime, echoed Shaw's sentiments, and said that JAMPRO believed that the UK needed a different approach to increase the flow of the island's products to that region and attract more investments to Jamaica.

The JAMPRO president explained, “Traditionally, Jamaica has been known as an exporter of fresh produce to the UK market, but what we have seen is that there is a growing interest in not only buying more Jamaican value-added products, but investing in our agricultural industry.”

She added: “To ensure that we do not lose these opportunities, we have embarked on a more aggressive, holistic approach that aims to position our agricultural industry as one with buying and investment opportunities, as well as excellent and unique value-added products. With Minister Shaw's support on this mission and future initiatives, we believe that we will be able to refresh the image of Jamaica's agriculture industry, and get those significant projects that will boost the sector and support our economic growth goals.”

The Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) which is an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, aims to drive economic development through growth in investment and export.

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