Fri | Feb 28, 2020

JAS is doing well - Grant

Published:Wednesday | July 11, 2018 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju/ Gleaner Writer
Norman Grant (centre), president of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), greets David Wan (right) of UCC and Michael Reid at the 96th annual general meeting of the Kingston and St Andrew chapter of the JAS at the Jamaica Horticultural Society, St Andrew, recently.

Norman Grant, outgoing president of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), is reporting that a number of economic gains were achieved during financial year 2017-18, as the effort to reposition the JAS as an independent and viable organisation continued.

"For the period ending March 31, 2018, our comprehensive income for the year was $30 million, in comparison with $7 million last year, and our net assets now stand at $529 million, compared with $489 million last year, a growth rate of eight per cent. Meanwhile, our long-term debt now stands at $39 million, down from $30 million last year," he said in a press release.

The net asset base, which now stands at $529 million, represents a per annum growth of $23 million per year or 12 per cent since 2003, Grant, a chartered accountant, further advised.

Lenworth Fulton and Glendon Harris are vying to replace Grant as leader of the JAS in September, a matter which will be determined by delegates at today's annual general meeting at the Denbigh Showground in May Pen, Clarendon.


Denbigh Show growth


In fact, the showground where the JAS hosts the annual Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show has grown significantly during his tenure, according to Grant.

"This show now attracts 80,000 patrons, grossing $75 million, up from $10 million in 2003, and attracts more than 1,000 exhibitors.

Our approximately 228,000 farmers, with support from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, the JAS, the Rural Agricultural Development Authority and other agencies, have gone beyond themselves and have produced to meet the demanding job of feeding this country," he said.

"These statistics confirm that if given the opportunity to move agricultural production forward and given adequate support, we will be able to realise the tremendous potential that exists within the sector. If Jamaica reaches its peak in agricultural production, it stands to benefit from import substitution, poverty alleviation and subsequently, sustainable economic growth whilst securing a greater level of food security."