GG: Sustained efforts, unity key to economic gains
Governor General Sir Patrick Allen has warned against complacency in light of any economic gains and has called for unity to achieve sustained growth and development.
"Although we may be doing well in terms of our economic indicators, we still remain in the category of developing countries, which are at the back of the line as it relates to rates and levels of growth. We're still in a slow growth situation, even while working to accelerate," the governor general said during his address at the Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show at May Pen, Clarendon, yesterday.
"The international economic climate remains unstable for lower- and middle-income countries, and a look into the future will not necessarily fill us, and many other countries like ours, with a great deal of satisfaction. Perhaps in the eyes of some, it may not fill us with optimism or satisfaction," he added.
Despite this, Sir Patrick charged Jamaicans not to be disheartened by detractors or adverse condition but to continue to punch well above their weight class and continue to use agriculture as a platform for success.
"Agriculture has been one of our main strengths, and we must not be afraid to trust in it and invest in it. As we have seen in every aspect of life, we must play to our strengths and find a winning formula. Playing to our strength requires that leaders must inspire, followers must be inspired, and together [they must] unite to achieve the best for both," said Sir Patrick.
The governor general pointed to the contribution that the Jamaica Agricultural Society continues to make towards gross national development and the improvement of the quality of life, particularly in rural areas.
"Now is the time when we need all hands on deck. We have to hasten the marriage of the 'innovativeness' and energy of this technologically savvy millennial generation with the discipline and attention to detail and spirit of cooperation of older players in the sector.
"Competition may be the order of the day in the world at large, but ... let us ensure that the public and private sectors facilitate each other - supporting production processes and marketing of goods with safeguards of quality standards in a timely manner to give Jamaica that competitive edge."
His appeal continued with a football analogy: "I am convinced that Team Jamaica, united in vision and purpose, with agriculture playing forward in the striker's position, we can rise above the challenges of climate change, a criminal minority, global uncertainty. But unity and teamwork must be constant."