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Agriculture ministry seeks to reverse AMC complex sale plan

Monday, April 08, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Cabinet has received a submission from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, seeking to reverse plans to sell the Agricultural Marketing Corporation (AMC) complex on Spanish Town Road in Kingston.

Portfolio Minister, Audley Shaw, who says the nine-acre property was put up for sale in January 2016, reiterated plans to transform the complex into a modern agro-processing facility.

The complex was previously used to package exports and process produce for local distribution.

“We are creating a modern agro-processing centre [under] a public/private partnership [arrangement so] that every young person who wants factory space, will be able to get it at the AMC. We need to create the factory and refrigeration space,” he said.

The minister was speaking at the 2019 Jamaica 4-H Clubs National Achievement Expo, at the Denbigh Agricultural Showground in May Pen, Clarendon, on Friday.

Shaw indicated that other agro-processing centres will be established across the island.

Among these, he said, are: GraceKennedy Limited's establishment of a food processing centre at the Denbigh showground; the old National Meat and Food Distributors facility in Lydford, St Ann, which will also serve as a logistics centre; and a facility in Williamsfield, Manchester.

“There will also be establishments in the west, because places like Caribbean Producers Jamaica (CPJ) want to come on board to work with us in processing as well,” the minister added.

Meanwhile, Shaw congratulated the Jamaica 4-H Clubs for its role in promoting agriculture among the youth, noting that it has provided scholarships valued approximately $70 million over the past three years.

The expo, which was held under the theme 'Eco-based Adaptation Strategies: a 4-H Response to Climate-Smart Agriculture', saw the crowing of the 2018 National 4-H Boy and Girl of the Year, each of who received a grand cash prize of $1 million

The top boy was Sandray Miller of the Spanish Town 4-H Club, while Imani Smith of Morant Bay High School in St Thomas topped the girls' category.

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