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JAS looks to capitalise on Cuba visit

Published:Wednesday | April 29, 2015 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju

PRESIDENT OF the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) Senator Norman Grant is optimistic the farming sector will benefit from a trip to Cuba, where he is visiting as leader of a Jamaican delegation.

The group from the JAS, which includes first vice-president Donald Berry and former board member, Larry Robertson, left on Tuesday and is slated to return on Sunday.

The business trip will include courtesy calls on the Cuban minister of agriculture, Jamaica's ambassador to Cuba, Adale Robinson, as well as representatives of agriculture interest groups, which the JAS president is anticipating will bear fruit.

The group will meet with the National Association of Small Farmers of Cuba (ANAP) with the aim of establishing bilateral agreements that will be beneficial to both national farmers' organisations.

ANAP provides training, agricultural extension and other services to its members and often negotiates with the Cuban government on prices of agricultural production, credit, and other major issues on behalf of farmers.

Senator Grant said the agreements are expected to foster new benefits for members of JAS, with the potential for additional avenues for the Jamaican agricultural industry to grow, especially in regards to the potential for exports.

However, the trip will not be all work as the Jamaicans have been invited to participate in the annual May Day Rally, set for Friday May 1, which is observed in some countries as International Workers Day.

In Cuba, where it is a national holiday massive marches are planned for the event which this year honours the 'Martyrs of Chicago', seven company employees in the United States, who were killed in 1886 for going on strike to press home their demands for an eight-hour weekday.