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Shaw calls for increased investment in agriculture

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw, is calling for a ramping up of private-sector investment in agriculture in order to ensure the nation's food security and to meet global demand.

Shaw's call comes against the background of projections that world food demand will increase significantly over the next 32 years.

“It is projected that by 2050 the world will need to produce 60 per cent more food than it currently does in order to feed the global population. For young people looking for business opportunities, I say that in every crisis there is a seed of greater benefit, in every crisis, there's an opportunity,” Shaw said at the opening of a World Food Day conference and exhibition today at the University of Technology (UTech) Papine campus in St Andrew..

“This is an opportunity for Jamaica, not just to feed ourselves (but the world),” Shaw added.

He noted that hunger kills more people every year than Malaria, Tuberculosis and AIDS combined, and about 45 per cent of infant deaths are related to malnutrition.

UTech President, Professor Stephen Vasciannie, in supporting the minister's call, said that one of the ways in which Jamaicans can invest in food security, is through rural development and fostering capacity for entrepreneurship among young people in rural communities.

“Minister Shaw, we note your recent calls for increased agricultural production and land management rationalisation in rural communities. UTech Jamaica shares unequivocally in this thrust,” he said.

Professor Vasciannie pointed out that United Nations (UN) Secretary General, António Guterres, in his 2017 message to the Committee on World Food Security, noted that despite progress in recent years, hunger is on the rise again.

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