Agriculture Minister Says Agricultural Development Should be Mandatory
Monday 17th September, 2018-The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs has told a Ministerial Forum in China, that agricultural development in nations around the world should be mandatory and not optional.
Addressing the 2018 Ministerial Seminar on Food Security for Developing Countries and “Consultation, Contribution and Shared Benefits”–Ministerial Forum on Agricultural Development and International Cooperation for Developing Countries, the Hon. Dean Jonas said countries, in particular “small island developing states as my own must treat with the stark reality that the level of food importation is akin to a chronic economic disorder which requires immediate treatment to avoid a slow and inevitable death.”
He stated that “the data should be released with the same urgency as a public health alert; the response should be rapid, production goals set and funding realigned to address the matter of food security.”
Minister Jonas has stressed the need for food security as a matter of national importance since it determines the health and productivity of each nation’s human resources.
He noted that for emerging economies, it is incumbent that agriculture be modernised, production efficiency be improved, food security be achieved and farmers be profitable with the goal of significantly increasing agricultural productivity.
The agriculture minister highlighted the importance of policies and interventions to be developed to ensure that farmers and fisherfolk earn higher incomes. Reforms he detailed that encompass the full agricultural value chain and create additional businesses and job opportunities in the areas of storage, transport, processing, packaging and marketing of agricultural produce must be actively embraced.