Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Jamaica to pursue farm tourism

Published:Wednesday | May 25, 2016 | 5:00 AM
Audley Shaw

Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett has said that Jamaica is seeking to  pursue farm tourism, which has a lucrative travel market worldwide.

He noted that many tour operators have been pushing this market in various countries and that Jamaica is geographically poised to benefit from it.

"The link between agriculture and tourism is something that we take very seriously and something which has the potential to solve many of our problems," Bartlett said.

He cited the agro parks initiative, in which more than 6,000 acres of land have been brought into production.

"Can you imagine our visitors going on organised tours to these farms ... where the opportunity is there for them to also have lunch and dinner, eating the same produce from these farms?" Bartlett said.

"More jobs would be created, more people would get into farming, the farmers would be able to earn foreign exchange, and the Jamaica Tourist Board would have another niche market to promote. This would be another huge plus for our economy," he added.

Meanwhile, Minister of Finance and Public Service Audley Shaw said that agriculture and tourism are linked as well as being critical to the positive growth numbers his ministry is pursuing.

"Here in Jamaica, we are fortunate to have two very powerful sectors in tourism and agriculture that potentially can take us to the Promised Land. There are so many ways they can feed off each other that we can't help but to be entirely upbeat about the potential that is staring us in the face," Shaw said.