JAS wants cess on imported beef
MONTPELIER, St James - President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) Senator Norman Grant is calling on Government to impose a cess on the importation of beef, as part of efforts to resuscitate the cattle industry.
"With the challenges we have with beef, we need to develop a local beef industry and as an advocate for 'eat what we grow and grow what we eat', I have no difficulty if we kick-start that industry by imposing a tax on the importation of fresh beef and use that to expand the livestock industry and as soon as we get more cows (cattle), then we can reduce the import of beef,” Grant proposed.
He recounted that some 14 years ago, the JAS recommended that government establish the Agriculture Development Fund, which would serve to impose a cess on imported meat and vegetables "to be used for the development of the agricultural sector and farming in Jamaica".
"It is over about 14 years that was approved by Cabinet. What we are saying here today [Easter Monday] is we are calling on the Government to revisit the imposition of the tax on imported fruits, vegetables, meat and the kind, and to cede the Agricultural Development Fund and to use that money to expand and develop the agricultural sector," he argued.
Meanwhile, Grant reasoned that the 'Eat what you Grow and Grow what you Eat' campaign, initiated in 2003, "has been the most game-changing campaign since we had Independence in 1962".
"The only other campaign I can compare to it is the campaign: 'Two is better than too many'," he argued.
The JAS president was speaking at the Montpelier Agricultural Show in St James on Monday.