Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says the agricultural sector must be transformed to better meet the consumption requirements of visitors to the island.
“The production patterns of agriculture in the region have to be lifted to a higher level where we are the suppliers of what is required for consumption. We must train and develop human capacity to improve the production and consumption patterns within our space,” he said.
Bartlett—who was speaking at the USAID’s Farmer-to-Farmer Conference 2020 at the Liguanea Club this week—said his ministry is, therefore, working closely with the ministry of agriculture to increase consumption of locally grown food in the sector and to assist farmers who supply the sector.
The drive is being led by the Tourism Linkages Network, in collaboration with the agriculture ministry. The result is the creation of several programmes and initiatives geared towards building the capacity of farmers to supply demand. Data from the Tourism Linkages Network’s 2019 demand study indicate that the total value of demand for agricultural products in the tourism amounted to J$39.6 billion.