PSOJ calls for dedicated agriculture ministerFriday, September 17, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) has called for a dedicated Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries to oversee the ministry.
Minister of Industry and Commerce Audley Shaw has been asked by Prime Minister Andrew Holness to assume responsibility for the agriculture and fisheries ministry following the resignation of Floyd Green earlier this week.
Green resigned as the agriculture and fisheries minister after videos surfaced online of him and several others breaking the COVID-19 restrictions at a celebration on one of the Government imposed no-movement days.
The PSOJ in a statement said that it commended the ''level of accountability displayed by the Government and Green''.
''We were disappointed by his action and inexcusable lapse of judgment at a time when we need a united and cohesive approach to tackle the pandemic. Mr Green's swift resignation was necessary for accountability,'' the statement added.
''Agriculture is a key industry that employs approximately 200,000 Jamaicans. It is critical for self-sufficiency and linkages with tourism and agro-processing which needs to be modernised for sustainable growth,'' the statement said.
''In September 2020, the creation of a standalone ministry for agriculture and fisheries allowed for specific focus on the sector. This was a key factor in clearly defining the focus of the ministry on food security, agri-business development, climate smart technology and export expansion,'' it continued.
''While we acknowledge the relationship between agriculture and fisheries, and industry and commerce, we believe that the breadth and significance of the agriculture portfolio requires a dedicated ministry with a dedicated minister to provide the necessary attention,'' it added.
The PSOJ called on Prime Minister Andrew Holness to reconsider the merging of the agriculture, fisheries, commerce and industry portfolio and ''implore him to seek to identify a dedicated Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries to oversee the transformation of the sector.''