Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw (2nd left), shakes hands with new Head of Regional Office for the Caribbean, European Investment Bank, Yves Ferreira (right); during a courtesy call at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices, on Friday, February 8, 2019. Others (from left) are Agricultural Attache’/Programme Manager Rural Development and Environment, Delegation of the European Union to Jamaica, Belize, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands and the Cayman Islands, Stefano Cilli; and outgoing Head of Regional Office for the Caribbean, European Investment Bank, René Pérez. Among the matters discussed were to explore greater levels of cooperation for the agricultural sector and a tighter relationship with the European Union in grant funding and loans.
With the appointment of a new Head of Regional Office for the Caribbean, European Investment Bank (EIB), Mr. Yves Ferreira, Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, says he wants to explore greater levels of cooperation with the organization for the agricultural sector.
Speaking during a courtesy call at his New Kingston offices on February 8, 2019, Minister Shaw welcomed the incoming Head of the EIB to Jamaica. He informed Mr. Ferreira that Jamaica and the European Union have always had a very good relationship, particularly as it relates to trade and grant funding.
“With your appointment as the Head of the Regional Office for the Caribbean, what we want to have now is a tighter relationship with the European Union both in grant funding and loans. We want to explore more on how the EU can further assist the agricultural sector, particularly in the area of irrigation for small hillside farmers,” Minister Shaw stated.
Mr. Shaw said that there are thousands of acres of idle farm lands in Jamaica and, there is still a need for more infrastructure like irrigation, as right now only about eight or nine per cent of irrigable lands were being irrigated. He made mention of the the recently launched Essex Valley Agriculture Development Project in St. Elizabeth, which is funded through a £35,515 million grant from the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund, administered by the Caribbean Development Bank, which will render assistance to over 700 farmers.
“We welcome the Essex Valley irrigation project, but there is a greater need for the expansion of this kind of initiative in other parishes. Irrigation is a real issue among our farmers and they really need assistance. Therefore, this is something we have to look at more seriously with the EU,” added Minister Shaw.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ferreira said his appointment to the Caribbean represents a commitment by the EU to “continue to work to sustain and deepen” its engagement with the region, and to collaborate in finding new avenues for cooperation.
“What the European International Investment Bank is now trying to do is to increase the loan facility for Jamaica. Usually, the EU cooperates with grants but, the bank is now giving loans. So we are trying to cooperate with this new form of cooperation, which is blended, as it mixes the grants with the loans to make more viable and economical sustainable cooperation,” informed Mr. Ferreira.
He added that he has a keen interest in the agricultural sector and renewable energy in the Caribbean and will be looking closely at these two areas.
Mr. Ferreira was accompanied by outgoing Head of Regional Office for the Caribbean, European Investment Bank, René Pérez, and Agricultural Attaché/Programme Manager, Rural Development and Environment, Delegation of the European Union to Jamaica, Belize, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands and the Cayman Islands, Stefano Cilli.
Welcome to the official website of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries.
The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF) has been charged with the responsibility of driving the integration of the production of primary agricultural produce along all the stages of the supply chain through to value added and facilitating full commercialization of outputs of the agriculture, manufacturing, and service sectors.
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