LONDON, England (JIS) — Audley Shaw, minister of industry, commerce, agriculture and fisheries, is currently leading a five-day promotion mission to London to promote Jamaica’s agricultural sector for investment and export of Jamaica’s fresh produce and food-based products.
The mission, which includes Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) president, Diane Edwards, began on Tuesday with attendance at agricultural investment forum Global AgInvesting Europe. The investment forum is the world’s premier agriculture investment conference series, attracting hundreds of attendees working in the agricultural value chain, including global agricultural investors, agricultural technology entrepreneurs, fund managers, venture capitalists and researchers.
Shaw will also meet with stakeholders in the agricultural industry and buyers in London, and was due to speak at JAMPRO’s Investors’ Dinner on Wednesday and Buyers’ Luncheon on Thursday.
The United Kingdom continues to be a key area for expansion in export sales as the market is one of Jamaica’s top three markets for export each year. There is steady growth in interest from UK buyers for Jamaican brands and private labelling; and from investors seeking opportunities for partnership on feasible agriculture projects.
In response to these developments, Shaw said that Jamaica was on a journey of transformation that would take Jamaica’s agricultural industry to the next level.
“Over the last five years we have embarked on an aggressive programme to transform Jamaica’s agricultural landscape. This includes the build out of large agro-industrial parks to create a logistics supply chain which will optimize production, sorting, packing and export of agro-processed products, these agro-parks we want to become central hubs to supply the region,” he said.
The minister noted that with these developments, the country was open for business and ready for investment and trade interests in the United Kingdom.
Edwards echoed the minister’s sentiments, and said that JAMPRO believed that the UK needed a different approach to increase the flow of the island’s products to that region and attract more investments to Jamaica.
“Traditionally, Jamaica has been known as an exporter of fresh produce to the UK market, but what we have seen is that there is a growing interest in not only buying more Jamaican value-added products, but investing in our agricultural industry,” the JAMPRO president explained.
She went on to say, “To ensure that we do not lose these opportunities, we have embarked on a more aggressive, holistic approach that aims to position our agricultural industry as one with buying and investment opportunities, as well as excellent and unique value-added products. With Minister Shaw’s support on this mission and future initiatives, we believe that we will be able to refresh the image of Jamaica’s agriculture industry, and get those significant projects that will boost the sector and support our economic growth goals.”
JAMPRO’s mission is to drive economic development through growth in investment and export and is an agency of the ministry of industry, commerce, agriculture and fisheries.