PM tells Opposition to put solutions on table for agriculture


PM tells Opposition to put solutions on table for agriculture

Observer staff reporter

Thursday, February 27, 2020

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HAGUE, Trelawny — In an obvious swipe at Opposition spokesman on agriculture Victor Wright's call for a national agricultural plan to achieve agricultural resilience, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has argued that political parties must provide solutions when they form the Administration and not only in Opposition.

“Make sure that you do something with the time that you have at the wicket. , but when you go bat you did not make any runs,” Holness remarked.

“Where I sit I hear a lot of talk, I hear a lot of great speeches being made and I have been in Parliament as long as Minister Chang [as] this year will be my 22nd year. I have heard many great speeches criticising what is happening, speeches suggesting what should be done. But it is very rare that I hear speeches made by politicians that say this is what we have done and how we have corrected the problem.

“I try to make it my point of duty not to make speeches criticising, and not to make speeches promising, but to always say what I have done, what the Government that I lead is doing to address the challenges and the problems. As I said at another place the Jamaican culture, the psychic, and the Jamaican outlook must be do sup'n. Something happen, you are not satisfied, do something about it; it is not enough to just come and give pretty speech, nice talk; do something!”

Holness was addressing yesterday's 65th Hgaue Agricultural and Industrial Show at the Hague Show Ground here. The show was held under the theme: 'Agricultural Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Change'.

The Opposition spokesperson for agriculture had suggested earlier that as “policymakers and practitioners we must heed the call of science to initiate measures to protect our environment, the integrity of our soil and to safeguard our water supplies”.

“In keeping with the theme of this show, only a carefully crafted and implemented national agricultural plan can achieve this agricultural resilience. Without a national plan agricultural development will be constrained, thereby threatening our food sovereignty and rural development. The plan must include a clear policy for the distribution of the former sugar lands here in Trelawny, and non-interference in the determination of which farm roads is repaired,” Wright charged.

Minister of state in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Agriculture Floyd Green also took a swipe at Wright, noting that the Government has now moved passed a plan.

“You would have heard MP Wright speak about a plan [but] we not only have a plan, we have moved passed that. We have an agri-business strategy just launched because the reality we have to tag agriculture with business,”Green said.

However, the prime minister, Green, Wright and all the speakers agreed that the agricultural and industrial show yesterday was a success.

The prime minister singled out Audrey Nelson and Tover Hamilton, co-chairs of the Hague Committee, for a well-organised event.

“These two ladies put in a great deal of work. Over the past few years the show had gone through a period of decline. What I am seeing here and what I am being told is that there is a resurgence of the Hague Show,” said Holness, who is the first prime minister said to have ever graced the Hague Show.

“I am here at Hague to show my support for the agricultural sector, to show my support for rural development, show my support for the efforts of the small farmers, who have been toiling for centuries in this country. The time has come to pair your energy, your effort, your commitment with the capital and the technology and the scale needed to make agriculture a profitable endeavour in Jamaica,” said the prime minister.

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