Mon | Sep 24, 2018

Norman Grant obvious pick for agri minister

Published:Friday | October 10, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir: Minister Derrick Kellier has been chosen by PM Simpson Miller to be the new minister of agriculture and fisheries. It seems he will add the portfolio of this important superministry to his present duties. A check will reveal that he needs to spend more time in the labour and social security ministry, to deal with worrying matters there.

But isn't it time that Senator Norman Washington Grant be given something else to do? Senator Grant has been involved in agricultural matters almost his whole life. I know of his long involvement with the 4-H Clubs of Jamaica, the coffee industry, the Jamaica Agricultural Society, and Denbigh. These provide excellent preparation for the top post at Hope.

When we finally decide to take growth and development seriously, agriculture and fisheries have a critical role to play. Whoever succeeds Roger Clarke has to hit the ground running. There is no time for an extended learning curve by someone who is distracted by other obligations. The minister of agriculture and fisheries has to be focused entirely on that portfolio, with an understanding of challenges born out of years of association with those challenges.

Norman Grant is the best prepared 'party man' for that position. He can roll up his sleeves, put on his dust mask, and get to work immediately. Come to think of it, how many ministers of agriculture had a résumé as impressive as his?


Stony Hill, St Andrew