MAY PEN, Jamaica – Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Roger Clarke said he is confident that Jamaica’s agriculture sector is in safe hands given the cadre of youngsters that the Jamaica 4-H Clubs continue to produce.
“I want to tell the Jamaican people that we have set of young people who are prepared to lead us into the future. And, as I went through the different booths, I can with confidence say the future of Jamaica is safe,” Clarke declared.
He was delivering the keynote address at the 73rd renewal of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs National Achievement Exposition on Friday at the Denbigh Showground in May Pen.
Clarke said that having viewed the exhibitions from the 14 parishes, he had no doubt that the country is moving in the right direction.
“This crop of young people that I see here today gives me real hope that Jamaica will be a better place,” he said.
“For this”, he added, “the leadership of the Jamaica 4-H movement must be commended.”
Clarke, responding to an earlier call from the Custos of Clarendon, William Shagoury, also pledged to assist the young generation of farmers in realising their dreams.
“We know the difficulties that the young people face,” he said. “They have no start-up capital and no collateral. They basically have their intelligence. We have always talked about getting our young people involved in agriculture, but we must now start to provide the assistance now.
“The Government and the Ministry are on a drive to lift production because at the moment we are importing over a billion US dollar of food and that is not sustainable. Therefore, our research capabilities will have to be tapped into.
“But when I passed through those booths, I must tell you that I am confident that the young people have the answer, so we are going to work with you to achieve your dreams because without you there is no future,” Clarke told the audience.
– Oshane Tobias