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Jamaica: Minister wants increased private sector investment in agriculture

By CMC

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Agriculture Minister Audley Shaw and Professor Stephen Vasciannie at the opening of the conference and exhibition that ends on Wednesday

(CMC) – Jamaica has called for an increase in private-sector investment in agriculture in order to ensure the nation’s food security and to meet global demand.

“It is projected that by 2050 the world will need to produce 60 per cent more food than it currently does in order to feed the global population,” said Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister. Audley Shaw.

“For young people looking for business opportunities, I say that in every crisis there is a seed of greater benefit, in every crisis, there’s an opportunity. This is an opportunity for Jamaica, not just to feed ourselves (but the world),

Shaw, addressing the opening of a two-day World Food Day conference and exhibition, said that hunger kills more people every year than malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS combined, and about 45 per cent of infant deaths are related to malnutrition.

The event is being held at the University of Technology (UTech) and according to UTech’s president, Professor Stephen Vasciannie, one of the ways in which Jamaicans can invest in food security, is through rural development and fostering capacity for entrepreneurship among young people in rural communities.

“Minister Shaw, we note your recent calls for increased agricultural production and land management rationalisation in rural communities. UTech Jamaica shares unequivocally in this thrust,” he said.

Vasciannie said that United Nations (UN) Secretary General, António Guterres, in his 2017 message to the Committee on World Food Security, noted that despite progress in recent years, hunger is on the rise again.

He added that the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) 2018 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World Report estimated that there are some 820 million chronically undernourished people in the world.

The two-day World Food Day conference and exhibition seeks to promote awareness of the link between food security, nutrition and poverty eradication; discuss the challenges and opportunities in addressing food security and poverty alleviation in Jamaica; advocate food security and poverty eradication through education; and highlight initiatives that contribute to food security and poverty reduction in Jamaica.

It is being staged by the UTECH/UNESCO-UNEVOC Centre for Research and Sustainable Development under the theme ‘Advocating Food Security, Good Nutrition and Poverty Eradication though Education”.

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