Green wants more youths in agriculture

September 15, 2020
Young farmers in Prickley Pole, St Ann, gather cabbage for sale in the Coronation market in Kingston.
Young farmers in Prickley Pole, St Ann, gather cabbage for sale in the Coronation market in Kingston.
Floyd Green
Floyd Green

Newly appointed Agriculture Minister Floyd Green says he wants to see more young people involved in farming and research.

"We have to find a way to get more youth to come into agriculture and fisheries, and we have to make it easier for people who have a genuine interest to get a pathway to come into agriculture or fisheries. So, one of the things I want to do is to ensure that the information is at their fingertips ... . And that they take a business approach when they are going into agriculture or fisheries," he said.

Green, who will be sworn in for a second term as member of parliament for St Elizabeth South West today, has been promoted to the Cabinet, having served as a junior minister in the last administration. The minister said he is aware of the numerous challenges facing the sector, given his previous role as a state minister, and also from the difficulties faced by farmers in his parish, St Elizabeth, one of the country's most productive farming parishes. He said that research is also going to be critical when it comes to innovation and driving technology within the ministry.

"I want to see a stronger research and development framework. I want to see our educational institutions, especially tertiary, moving from research into putting things into practice, out in the fields, out in the sea. I think that is very important, and I want to see an expansion of our export market ... . I want to see export growing," he said.

Another big priority area for him and the administration, he said, is the welfare of fisherfolk.

"The reality is, a lot of our fishermen are going through difficult times and we have to have a programme to help them retool, help them deal with the impact of climate change, help them to do deep-sea fishing. Those are some of the things we are going to be focusing on, and outside of that, it's just about trying to grow the sector," the minister said.

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