Jamaica to buy farming equipment from Cuba
KINGSTON - As part of efforts to strengthen the agricultural sector in Jamaica, the government will be acquiring durable equipment from Cuba, while also relying on Cuban expertise in greenhouse technology.
Minister without portfolio in the ministry of industry, commerce, agriculture and fisheries, J.C. Hutchinson, said Cuba has a vast array of agricultural equipment that “can drive agriculture, here in Jamaica.”
“We are looking to bring in some small processing machines to help farmers utilise crops that normally go to waste,” he explained.
The minister, who was delivering the keynote address at a demonstration of agricultural implements manufactured in Cuba, said the crops will be made into juice, and then delivered into a breakfast programme for primary schools.
He added that the watering of crops can also be made easier with technology from the Cubans.
“They have irrigation systems that can help small farmers,” he said.
Hutchinson argued that the Cuban greenhouses are “affordable,” and with all the advancements that country has made in agriculture, “we need to look in that direction.”
The minister told his audience that with the agricultural sector forming part of the government’s growth platform, “technological advancement and the increased use of appropriate implements are necessary to stimulate growth and productivity.”
He pointed out that a major target in the industry is the expansion of value-added products, which is in keeping with the goal of developing a vibrant agro-industry.
The demonstration showcased the capabilities, techniques, durability and usefulness of the Cuban manufactured implements.
Photo: Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, J.C. Hutchinson (fourth left), makes a point to Cuban Ambassador to Jamaica, Bernardo Guanche Hernandez (fifth left), at a demonstration on April 19 of agricultural implements, manufactured in Cuba. Others (from left) are: Director General in the Ministry, Don McGlashan; Chief Executive Officer at the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Lenworth Fulton; Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Dermon Spence; and Principal Research Director at the Ministry, Dr Lisa Myers-Morgan. Credit: Dave Reid