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Hanover cattle farmer endorses call for tax on agriculture imports

BY ANTHONY LEWIS
Observer West writer

Thursday, May 18, 2017

RAMBLE, Hanover

Veteran Hanover farmer Collin Wright, who recently received an award for being a cattle farmer of 60 years, has endorsed calls by president of the Jamaica Agricultural Society Norman Grant for the imposition of a tax on the importation of animal produce and ground provisions.

Wright, one of 60 Hanoverians recently awarded by Hanover Charities for outstanding contribution to the parish, said in the past such a move was implemented successfully.

“I endorse that a 100 per cent. I remember when I was in the dairy industry we had a cess going for a while to be able to have funds to loan the farmers and so on, and it went well for a while. The cess is a good idea. I think we should push towards it. Farmers will get cheaper loans and probably get some grants because we are competing with farmers who are subsidised,” he argued.

Grant stated that a tax placed on imported fruits, vegetables and meats could be used to seed an agriculture development fund, which in turn could be used to develop and expand the local agriculture sector.

He stressed that the local beef industry is in need of development, noting that a tax on imported meat could be used to expand that sector.

The former senator made the call during his address at the 30th staging of the Montpelier Agricultural & Industrial Show put on recently by the St James Branch of the Jamaica Agricultural Society.