BROWNS TOWN, St Ann— Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining Floyd Green is urging the nation’s youth to get involved in agriculture if they want to make real money and be rich.
He gave the advice while speaking at the Minard Livestock Show and Beef Festival in Brown’s Town Thursday afternoon.
The 22nd annual festival organised by the Jamaica Cattle Breeders Society, in collaboration with the Jamaica 4-H Clubs and Ministry of Education and Youth and sponsored by Nutramix, saw in attendance more than 8,000 students, representing up to 300 schools from the kindergarten to tertiary levels.
In highlighting the importance of agriculture, and cattle rearing in particular, Green assured students that they could become rich by venturing into agriculture.
“So please, when you go home, nudge your mother, nudge your father, say you had a great time at Minard and what you want to do is get involved in agriculture. If you want to make real money, get involved in agriculture. If you want to be rich and happy and wealthy, agriculture is the answer,” the minister encouraged.
He also urged those listening to contemplate owning cattle.
“When you leave Minard, you start thinking about how are you going to own your own cow, how are you going to ensure that you are making money out of agriculture; agriculture is big business,” he said.
Green also expressed pleasure that efforts are being made to strengthen the cattle industry, with special focus on improving indigenous breeds.
“We have a solid foundation, we know the breeds that were done by [Jamaican scientist] T P Lecky, but what we need to do is to ensure that there is none of those breeds that are under threat. And, as such, we have been working with Bodles, we have been working with Minard and with the Cattle Breeders Association, firstly targeting our Jamaica Black line, because that was the line that was under greatest threat,” he said.
Green said artificial insemination is being used to build back the herd size of the Jamaica Black breed of cattle and he is pleased with the progress being made.
He expressed concern about the Jamaica Hope, but said there has also been improvement.
“We have appointed a team which will be headed by Byron Lawrence, out of the Jamaica Dairy Development Board, that will lead a team of researchers at Bodles to see to the genetic improvement of the Jamaica Hope. The Jamaica Hope is critical to our dairy sector and we are on a drive to rebuild our dairy industry. So we expect that team to start work this year and by the time we come back to Minard next year, we should be able to give a report on what is happening with our Jamaica Hope,” he said.