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Agri sector poised to create 100,000 jobs
2013-08-19 14:22:02 | (0 Comments)
The Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) says up to 100,000 jobs could be created in the agricultural sector within the next three years.
However, the JAS says beneficiaries will have to be prepared to demonstrate a strong entrepreneurial mindset.
Last week the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, (STATIN) revealed that unemployment rose to 16.3 per cent in April this year, almost two percentage points higher when compared to the similar period last year.
STATIN is also reporting that unemployment among youth, aged 14-24 years, rose by 4.1 percentage points to 38.5 in April compared to 34.1 per cent in April last year.
It is against this background that JAS president, Senator Norman Grant says agriculture can create thousands of jobs directly or through value-added industries as strategies are being implemented to drive agro-processing and rural development.
Senator Grant says the agro-parks, livestock, small ruminant industry and domestic and traditional crop production are employment sources.
However, he says a venture capital fund is necessary in order to drive the growth and development in small and micro sectors of the industry.
Senator Grant says the JAS is now actively seeking funding to the tune of $250 million to implement a central marketing system to drive new opportunities in the agricultural sector and ensure farmers' produce are sold.
Meanwhile, the JAS president says more entrepreneurship needs to be taught in tertiary-level and skills-training institutions.
He says by expanding the teaching of entrepreneurship complemented by the creation of a suitable environment, more students will graduate wanting to create rather than to seek employment.
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Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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