Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Leeroy Williams is calling on young Jamaicans, male and female to immediately get involved in the nation’s agricultural sector.
Speaking at a ceremony on Thursday June 13, 2019 at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay from where the first batch of Jamaican mangoes was exported to the United States of America, Councillor Williams said the time has come for more Jamaicans, especially young Jamaicans to get involved in the lucrative farming sector.
Dispelling the myth that farming is a menial vocation, Councillor Williams said the export of the first batch of Jamaican mangoes to the United States will open the gates to wealth creation through the growing of mangoes and other crops for both the export and local markets.
He said “there needs to be new fresh blood in the agricultural sector. Most of our longstanding farmers are now senior citizens and we must start succession planning. I am therefore calling young Jamaicans, males and females to join the happy band of becoming farmers regardless of the ill-informed stigma that this career path is menial. The time has come for us to dispel any notions that farming is in anyway menial. Farming is a very sophisticated sector and will continue to be proof that by the sweat of our brows we shall eat”.
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, JC Hutchinson (left) and Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Leeroy Williams engaged in talk on agriculture.
Councillor Williams also pointed out that farming has many components, to include the creation of sustainable jobs and being the pathway to addressing the nation’s food security.
He said “let us consider the challenges concerning the nation’s food security if there are not enough farmers in Jamaica. This sector creates sustainable jobs and is also a sure way to address any challenge which our country may face in meeting and effectively addressing our food security needs. Let me inform you that this is a great sector in which our young people can find sustainable employment”.
Meanwhile, Councillor Williams is lauding the efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture and mango farmers for their efforts in growing the product and clearing the way for the first batch of the fruit to be exported to the United States.
He is also imploring mango farmers to re-double their efforts in growing suitable products which will ensure that Jamaica meets its export quotas.
It is estimated that during June and July 2019, 800 boxes of irradiated Jamaican mangoes will be exported to the United States of America.