Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Get excited about agriculture - says St. James' Custos

Published:Tuesday | April 5, 2016 | 4:00 AM
Montego Bay Community College students Eric Edwards (foreground) and Kemoy Dunn, spray organic insecticides made from pepper and other natural ingredients on carrot leaves at the institution’s demonstration plot at the Montpelier Agricultural Showground in St James on Monday.

Businessman Ewen Corrodus, custos of St James, has urged Jamaicans, especially young people, to get involved in the agricultural industry, declaring it the "soundest and most important form of investment" in the world today.

While speaking at the Montpelier Agricultural Show, which was staged by the St James Branch Societies of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), on Easter Monday, noted that there will always be a demand for food.

"We can live without clothes or houses or cars or furniture, but we can't live without food. Therefore, there will always be a demand for food, worldwide," the custos said. "I firmly believe that agriculture will always be profitable, if it is properly managed. Consequently, I would love to see the young people of this country get excited about agriculture. I believe it is the surest and fastest way out of all the economic difficulties that we face."

THE WILL TO EXCEL

"We have the land, we have the climate and we have the human resources. The technology is available and we have some of the most brilliant and innovative minds in the world right here in Jamaica," continued Corrodus.

"Jamaicans have excelled in so many other areas. We can excel in agriculture and industry also. All we need is the will to make it happen."

The custos, however, noted that despite agriculture having the potential above other industries to positively transform the country's economic fortunes, it was still being seen by many as a 'Cinderella' occupation. He said the challenges facing the sector, such as praedial larceny, infrastructural deficiencies, drought and other natural disasters, could be easily overcome through strategic planning, education and information.

"For too long we have glorified other professions at the expense of the most fundamental and most profitable profession on earth - farming," said Corrodus.

"I firmly believe that once the population is sufficiently motivated, a floodgate of ideas and innovative solutions will be brought forward and will pave the way for the largest and fastest economic growth ever seen in Jamaica."

"There is no valid reason why Jamaica cannot become self-sufficient in food production in a short time," continued the custos.

"We need to plan together and to work together for the achievement of this goal. Our pockets will be better off for it and our health will be better off for it."