Samuda & Business Leaders Clash Over Performance of Agriculture Sector

Three prominent business leaders are criticizing the Ministry of Agriculture for not doing enough to boost the sector.

The sector has seen negative growth in recent times, particularly with bad weather affecting production.

The three business leaders yesterday bluntly criticized the Ministry led by Karl Samuda.

President of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica, PSOJ, Howard Mitchell, says the government can’t just blame agriculture’s poor performance on the weather.

He also singled out the ineffectiveness of Rural Agriculture Development Authroity, RADA.

President of the Manufacturers’ Association, JMA, Metry Seaga, complained that the Ministry, which is twinned with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, is too agriculture-focused, at the expense of the industry and commerce sectors of the portfolio.

And President of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, JCC, Larry Watson, says the Ministry needs a fresh approach.

Meanwhile, Agriculture and Industry Minister, Karl Samuda, launched a quick defence of his stewardship of the Ministry. He called Nationwide This Morning yesterday to refute the claims made by the business leaders.

Minister Samuda says the critics of his Ministry need to get their facts straight.

He says agriculture has made tremendous strides in the past year, despite the setbacks from bad weather.

And, he’s also hitting back at JMA President, Metry Seaga, who accused him of being too agriculture-focused, at the expense of his other portfolios, industry and commerce.

He’s also calling on business leaders to make more investments in agro-processing.

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