Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Pearnel Charles Jr and a delegation from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries are currently in Cayman on an official visit to enhance trade and investment opportunities and attend the Cayman Islands Agriculture Show led by Minister Jay Ebanks, Cayman’s minister of planning, agriculture, housing, and infrastructure.
The agriculture show is being held under the theme ‘Agriculture for the Future’.
The goal of the visit is to explore further trade and investment opportunities for Jamaican high-end coffee, to develop additional strategic partnerships thereby establishing an increase of exports of fish and fish products to The Cayman Islands, bolster cross border investment, expand export opportunities, establish capacity building in border surveillance, provide support to Cayman with regard to pest management and propose knowledge sharing in livestock services.
Relations between the two nations have facilitated a fruitful working relationship and their bilateral arrangement allows Jamaica to export crops such as yams, sweet potatoes, avocados, peppers, coffee, citrus, cocoa, Irish potatoes, bananas, pumpkins, pineapples, and pimentos among others.
According to the Jamaican agriculture ministry, this business dialogue aligns with its Grow Smart Eat Smart national programme to improve food security and increase strategic partnerships within the region.
After a two-year hiatus due to the global pandemic, The Cayman Islands Agriculture show returns to the Lower Valley, in the district of Bodden Town – the first capital of The Cayman Islands. The show has grown into the largest cultural and social event in Grand Cayman in the last 10 years.
The event features displays of produce and livestock as well as the rich culture and history of The Cayman Islands through arts and crafts demonstrations, traditional music and dance and food.
Jamaica has for several years exported live cattle and goats to The Cayman Islands.
This has led to a further request for live cattle and now has the country working towards the exportation of 30 Red poll cattle to The Cayman Islands.
These animals are expected to arrive in March.
Charles will today (February 24) be attending the Cayman Brac Agriculture Show which will be held at the Agriculture Show Grounds.
“The Grow Smart Eat Smart national strategy’s goal is to improve food security which includes expanding linkages and partnerships to elevate the agriculture and fisheries sector in a tangible way,” he said.
“Through securing these relationships we will bolster our ability to achieve food security, increase economic growth and enhance the livelihoods of our farmers and fisher folk.”
The Cayman Islands is among Jamaica’s largest trading partners for agricultural products within the region and Grand Cayman is Jamaica’s largest trading partner in the Caribbean for a variety of non-traditional plants and plant products. They are also ranked fourth among Jamaica’s top four export markets for plants and plant products. The country produces an estimated one per cent of all the food they consume.
Their industry and agriculture sectors represent 7.6 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively of their GDP in 2021.