Farmers urged to target foreign markets
The island's farmers are being encouraged to diversify agricultural production and grow more non-traditional crops for the export market.
Audley Shaw, the agriculture minister, said that crops such as castor beans, sorghum, cannabis, coconuts and industrial hemp are in high demand overseas.
He disclosed that a major coconut farmer from Guyana is setting up an operation in Jamaica on 2,000 acres of land, to take advantage of the country's strategic location for export to the Western Hemisphere.
"There is money in the coconut sector," the minister said.
Shaw was delivering the keynote addresses at the media launch of the Caribbean International Bamboo Symposium on September 5 at his New Kingston offices in St. Andrew.
Minister Shaw noted that over 45,000 acres of former sugar lands in St Catherine and Clarendon are to be rationalised, and the Sugar Company of Jamaica is accepting applications from entrepreneurs to put them into profitable production.