Irish potato programme to be expanded to new areas

JC Hutchinson, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, greets Hedda Pitter, business development manager, Newport-Fersan, at a sensitisation seminar for the National Irish Potato Expansion Programme held at the Christiana Potato Growers’ Co-operative Association in Manchester on Wednesday. The seminar, organised by the ministry in collaboration with Newport-Fersan and AgroGrace, was aimed at sensitising stakeholders on the requirements for the 2016-2017 Irish potato crop year.

THE Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries will be expanding the Irish potato programme to new planting areas for the 2016/17 crop year. Darliston in Westmoreland and Hounslow in St Elizabeth, which were not adversely affected by the recent dry spell, are among new planting areas ... Read More

Photo: AFP Ongoing cyber attack hits Twitter, Amazon, other top websites
WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Major internet services including Twitter, Spotify and Amazo ... Read More

Bank of Jamaica Governor Brian Wynter US$ investments are a good sign — Wynter
The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) indicated that continued and rising demand for the US dollar is connected ... Read More

A view of Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands Digicel makes ‘Belongers’ redundant
Telecommunications provider Digicel says it has made redundant a small number of jobs in Turks and C ... Read More

PM hypes hemp for enviromentally friendly containers

BY KARENA BENNETT Business reporter | Friday, October 21, 2016    

Hemp could be the way forward

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has challenged manufacturing company Wisynco, to explore the use of hemp or other plant-based material in the production of its styrofoam to create more environmentally-friendly containers. “I’m challenging you the captains of the industry, there is such a thing called hemp which can be used in these kinds of manufacturing to create substitutes for disposables. I think Jamaica has a long-standing affinity with the near cousin of that plant that you mig ... Read More

'Apprentice' winner Randal Pinkett set to motivate at Sagicor’s Inspire Project

Friday, October 21, 2016    

Randal Pinkett

Dr Randal Pinkett — Season 4 The Apprentice winner — is set to speak tonight to more than 140 student leaders at the Sagicor Inspire Project at the Hilton Resort and Spa in Rose Hall, St James. Pinkett, a Rhodes scholar, has established himself as an entrepreneur, speaker, author and scholar, and as a leading voice for his generation in business and technology. He is the founder, chairman and CEO of his fifth venture, BCT Partners, a multimillion-dollar consulting firm headquarte ... Read More

Profit slips, but lubricant sales quadruple for Paramount Trading

BY AVIA COLLINDER Business reporter collindera@jamaicaobserver | Friday, October 21, 2016    

Hugh Graham, managing director of Paramount Trading

Net profit tanked for Paramount Trading (Jamaica) Ltd (PTL) during the first quarter of its financial year to August 31, 2016; however, management is banking on expanded manufacturing for an improved outcome over time. Already, sales of lubricants have quadrupled year over year, from $2.2 million in first quarter ending August 2015 to $10.2 million this year, with directors outlining in the period’s financial report that they expect the joint venture signed with Allegheny mid-year to pr ... Read More

The gamechangers that can make Jamaica great again

BY ROGER BROWN | Friday, October 21, 2016    

Did someone say elephant?

In the early 70’s, all signs pointed up for Jamaica. Viewed as a stable island nation with abundant natural resources and strong institutions,the country was poised to become the Singapore of the Caribbean. Instead, it has become a regional laggard, with an insupportable debt and near zero per centgrowth for decades. What the hell happened? More importantly — what’s next? The current Administration recently corralled some of the nation’s brightest minds to identify socio ... Read More

Pan-Jam contemplates name change

BY AVIA COLLINDER Business reporter | Friday, October 21, 2016    

Pan-Jamaican Investment Trust Ltd (Pan-Jam) has advised that it will convene a board meeting on Tuesday, October 25, to propose a recommendation to change the name of the company. In a notice to the Jamaica Stock Exchange on Tuesday, it was noted that the meeting names will be considered and thereafter an extraordinary general meeting will be convened to put a resolution to its shareholders for approval. The Jamaica Observer reached out to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stephen Face ... Read More

Panama dismisses ‘non-viable’ Nicaragua canal

Friday, October 21, 2016    

BERLIN, Germany — German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President of Panama Juan Carlos Varela inspect a guard of honour prior to a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin on Tuesday. Photo: AFP

BERLIN, Germany (AFP) — Nicaragua’s plans for an Atlantic-Pacific canal to rival Panama’s are a non-starter despite Chinese backing, Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela said on Tuesday. “A new canal, in Nicaragua for example, would not be economically viable,” Varela told reporters at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. “Of course Nicaragua has the right to build a canal, the Chinese businessmen who’ve shown int ... Read More

Commercial real estate rentals dip towards BPO pricing

BY AVIA COLLINDER Business reporter | Wednesday, October 19, 2016    

Sutherland Global offices on Knutsford Boulevard in New Kingston.

Business Process outsourcing (BPO) firms which often want to lease thousands in square footage for their operations are influencing commercialrenting rates, local realtors state. Premium locations which once attracted rates near the US$20 per square foot ballpark are now rolling back to between US$10 and US$15 per square foot as they seek to attract lessees who may take as much as 100,000 square feet for years running. Specifically, the decision by three business process outsourcing companies ... Read More

JN members urged to vote ‘yes’

BY KARENA BENNETT Business reporter | Wednesday, October 19, 2016    

JNBS in Half Way Tree, St Andrew

Members of the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) will in three weeks cast their votes on a proposal by the JNBS board of directors to convert the building society to a commercial bank and to restructure the JN Group. In a special general meeting on November 14, members of the Building Society are being urged to vote “yes” to the reorganisation of the JN Group, which if not performed, is deemed to compromise the long-term viability of the financial institution. “The ... Read More

Shaw reiterates calls for single-digit interest rates

BY KARENA BENNETT Business reporter | Wednesday, October 19, 2016    

SHAW... all business peole must be able to access credit at five, six and seven per cent

Minister of Finance Audley Shaw has reiterated calls for single-digit interest rates to have Jamaica return to a production culture, while providing more small and medium-sized businesses with access to credit. “The issue with us is that about 40 per cent of our economy is already deemed to be informal and that access to credit for small businesses has been relatively poor,” Shaw stated. “Only about 15 per cent of depositors are borrowing money for businesses. But there is th ... Read More

Global tech conference launches in Jamaica

Wednesday, October 19, 2016    

Stephan Morais, executive director, Caixa Capital is a speaker at the event.

A new global conference and community platform in Jamaica will encourage relationships between tech entrepreneurs, investors and executives, and serve as a true business catalyst offering a more immersive experience for participants. Tech Beach Retreat is designed to connect the Caribbean’s tech ecosystem with the rest of the world, creating an international community of like-minded individuals who meet in the region. The inaugural event from December 1 to 3 in Montego Bay offers somethi ... Read More



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