Promoting and Facilitating Agri-Business Investments
26 Mar 2020


Jamaicans are being encouraged to purchase more locally grown fresh produce as world trade slows in light of the spread of Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

These produce are an important part of a healthy diet because they contain essential vitamins, minerals fibre and other nutrients needed to build the immune system.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Floyd Green, who issued the call while on a tour of a farm in St. Catherine, on March 19, urged consumers to check the labels to ensure the produce is coming from Jamaican farms.

“By doing so, we are encouraging our farmers. It also represents an opportunity for us to try new produce that are grown in Jamaica such as cantaloupe, honey dew and romaine lettuce. We must recognise that anything grown in Jamaica is of a high quality. Support our farmers during this COVID- 19 crisis and support Jamaica,” he urged.

Mr. Green also encouraged farmers to still go out into their fields as “we are depending on you”.

“The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries is here to help you and will help you in this difficult time. We know that you are the best at what you do,” he said.

Mr. Green’s remarks follow recent assurances given that there are adequate supplies of agricultural produce available for the next three months as well as other items such as eggs, poultry, and fish. Assurance has also been given that that there are adequate farm inputs available such as seeds to last throughout the year.

In the meantime, St. Catherine farmer, Terry Allijohn also echoed similar sentiments to Mr. Green encouraging people to purchase locally grown produce and for other farmers across the island to go into their own fields and continue with the business of farming.

“We need persons to buy our local produce. This represents an opportunity for our farmers to promote the importance of farmers to the country and the vital role they place in ensuring food security,” he said.


26 Mar 2020


State Minister in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Floyd Green, has expressed satisfaction that key stakeholders in the distributive trade have been ramping up production of foodstuff in light of the threat of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“All the manufacturers and importers present have indicated that they have at least two to three months’ worth of stock and we expect that there will not be any shortage across the sector especially in critical food items,” Mr. Green said.
“We want to indicate to the country that we seem to be fairly secure with basic food items,” he continued.
Mr. Green was speaking at a special meeting of the distributive trade, at the Ministry’s Hope Gardens offices in Kingston, on March 10.
Among the attendees to the meeting were representatives from the National Baking Company, MegaMart Jamaica, Wisynco, GraceKennedy, Caribbean Broilers, Jamaica Broilers, Rainforest Seafoods, Sugar Industry Authority, Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association, Chas E. Ramson, Jamaica Biscuit Company Limited, Jamaica Flour Mills, and Lillan Limited.
Discussions surrounded the strategies being implemented by businesses to deal with the threat of the disease, levels of business readiness and the availability of a business continuity plan should they be affected among other things.
Meanwhile, Mr. Green noted that the Ministry through its established taskforce headed by the Permanent Secretary, has been “keeping a pulse” on the happenings in the trade sector and will continue to monitor the situation.
“We have increased our visits to supermarkets and clearly we are going to be paying keen attention to things like prices,” he indicated.


28 Feb 2020

USAID Farmer to Farmer (F2F)

USAID Farmer to Farmer (F2F) has contributed to strengthening of human and institutional capacity at Minard Estates Farm. During the course of the program USAID F2F has provided technical assistance and capacity building in the following areas:

  1. Policy development
  2. GIS farm mapping
  3. Artificial Insemination training
  4. Cattle Handling best practices

A team from USAID Framer to Farmer is presently at Minard Estates providing technical assistance in farm tractor operation and maintenance from February 3 – 13, 2020.

24 Feb 2020

Former Monymusk workers welcome agricultural project by gov’t

CLARENDON, Jamaica — Former Monymusk Sugar Factory worker, Kamone Campbell, believes she has been “tossed a lifeline” with the launch of an agricultural project designed to create sustainable employment and a better way of life for former factory employees.

She is among a group of 15 people who are to benefit under the agricultural component of the Government’s socio economic programme for former employees of the factory, which seeks to facilitate alternative employment for the displaced workers and their dependents following the closure of the facility in 2018.

The project is a collaborative one with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), the National Irrigation Commission (NIC) Limited, the Agro-Investment Corporation and the HEART Trust/ NTSA.

It will see a total of 164 acres of land in Hermitage, Clarendon being leased, and subdivided into smaller tracts of land between two and five acres, on a phased basis, to grow crops.

“This will benefit us a lot because we have families. We have children going to school and we are not working. If we are doing something like a cash crop, it can help to pay the mortgage, send the children to school and can employ some people,” she said.

Campbell, who is now unemployed after working two years with the sugar factory, noted that she is eager to begin planting so that she will be able to provide for herself and family.

“This means a lot to me. To sit down at home not doing anything is very hard because nobody is giving you anything. I am happy to know that I am doing something that can benefit everybody. Although I am not a farming person, I am willing to try and see how this works out,” she said.

Another beneficiary, Solomon Anderson, who has been with the factory for over 20 years, is equally happy to be involved in the farming project.

“Once we get this assistance, I will be able to help myself and to send my child to school. I will also be able to help the country,” he explained.

In remarks at the launch of the project in Hermitage, Clarendon, on February 20, Chief Executive Officer of the Agro-Investment Corporation, Dr Alexander Powell, said his organisation screened the beneficiaries to determine their commitment to the project and financial capabilities.

Powell urged the beneficiaries to read the contract documents carefully because it details payment terms, effective date of lease, conditions for renewal of lease, among other information.

“We are confident that the farmers selected are committed and dedicated to the achievement of the objectives of the project and that it will deliver employment, income and revenue and other growth and environmental services. This will be beneficial to the farmers, their family, the community and Jamaica at large,” he said.

Meanwhile, State Minister in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green encouraged the farmers to “plant what works” in the area, especially castor bean, which has been gaining significance across the world.

He pointed out that two wells, which have been located in the surrounding areas, are to be tested by the NIC to test their use for irrigation to the fields.



04 Dec 2019

Amity Hall Agro-Park Hosts Plant Doctor Clinic

The St Catherine was abuzz with activity on October 30, 2019 when the Agro-Investment Corporation hosted the Rural Agricultural Development Authority at the Amity Hall Agro-Park for the training of “Plant Doctors” to host “Plant Clinics” where farmers are able to take samples of crops in for issues to be diagnosed and prescriptions with recommendations on how to maintain economic feasibility while undertaking corrective actions. The move will assist farmers in identifying issues associated with crop production and remedying same to ensure their investment is protected.

04 Dec 2019

GlobalGap Certification Audits

All hands on deck for the commencement of the Global GAP certification process. Representatives from key stakeholder agencies such as the Ministry of Industry Commerce Agriculture and Fisheries, Rural Agricultural Development Authority, Agricultural Competitiveness Project and California based food safety consulting firm- Guardian Harvest Inc, join the Agro-Investment Corporation at the start of the Global GAP audits which were completed in October 2019. The certification process included training of over 100 farmers on the Agro-Parks on Good Agricultural Practices to get ready to access export markets with Jamaican produce such as: Callaloo, Onion, Scotch Bonnet Pepper, Sweet Potato, Cucumber, Sweet Peppers, Pumpkin, Sorrel, Papaya, Thyme, Watermelon, Cabbage, Carrot, Okra, Cassava, Tomato, Dasheen, West Indian Red Pepper and Sorrel.

02 Dec 2019

EVADP Community Fair

The Agro-Investment Corporation team shares information on current trending agri-business opportunities to with beneficiaries under the Essex Valley Agricultural Development Project (EVADP) at a Community Information Fair held on October 16, 2019 at the Lititz Primary School in St Elizabeth. The EVADP was developed by Agro-Invest and is being funded through a £35 million grant from the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund (UKCIF), which is administered through the Caribbean Development Bank.

02 Dec 2019

Minard Estates Farms champion black poll calf

Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, interacts with a champion black poll calf from the Minard Estates Farms during his tour of the cattle ring at the Denbigh Agricultural Show which was held in Denbigh, Clarendon from August 4-6, 2019. Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) President, Lenworth Fulton looks on.

02 Dec 2019

Presentation of Trophy

Chief Executive Officer of Agro-Invest, Dr Al Powell, presents the Agro-Investment Corporation trophy to proud recipient Dr Karl Wellington of Wellington’s YS Farms for their Champion Polled Brahman Bull. The presentation was made at the 67th staging of the Denbigh Agricultural Show held from August 4-6 in Denbigh, Clarendon.

10 Sep 2019

Several Entities Under Agriculture Ministry to be Transformed

Several entities that fall under the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, and Fisheries will be transformed and modernised.

Portfolio Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, who made the disclosure during his contribution to the 2019/20 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on April 23, said that the process involves the merger, removal, privatisation and closeout of operations.

By way of Cabinet Decision No. 20/18 dated June 4, 2018, the following transformation activities are being executed: merger of the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC); completion of the merger of the Agricultural Marketing Corporation, Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) and Agricultural Support Services and Productive Project Fund Limited into the Agro-Investment Corporation; and the incorporation of the Banana Board in the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority.

In addition, the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) and the Jamaica 4-H Clubs are to transition to non-governmental status; the Tobacco Industry Control Authority will be closed; and the Tobacco Industry Regulation Act repealed.

Other activities include divestment or privatisation of Jamaica Exotic Flavours and Essences, while the Veterinary Board will transition to body corporate status.

A September 30, 2019 deadline has been communicated for completion of some of the transformation activities, with the exception of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, JAS, Veterinary Board and Jamaica Exotic Flavours and Essences.