The local Agriculture Sector is still recovering from the early impact of Covid-19 with a significant number of farmers being affected when borders were closed and their supply chain disrupted. The Agriculture Ministry had sought to assist farmers and tabled its National Five Year manufacturing growth strategy geared towards reviving the sector.

In addressing this, the Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry, Leslie Campbell said, “…with the manufacturing sector in Jamaica accounting for approximately 8.5% of GDP and contributing approximately 6.5% of employment, a prescription to support the sector was especially critical; and even more so at this time when we grapple with the challenges presented by the COVID-19 global pandemic and the resulting economic fallout.”

He explained that the National Five Year Manufacturing plan will seek to address the challenges and opportunities for growth in the local manufacturing industry while allowing the Ministry to pursue the initiatives that are essential to propelling the manufacturing sector into realizing greater growth and national impact.

He goes further to note that, “we are now ready to leverage the initiatives outlined in the document for greater growth and the achievement of the Vision 2030 goal of Jamaica as ‘the place of choice to live, work, raise families, and do business.”

The manufacturing growth strategy is expected to maximize and build upon the gains made within the sector creating employment opportunities, increasing foreign and local direct investment, and increasing awareness of Jamaica as a location for manufacturing.

“The Strategy targets the achievement of J$81 billion in manufacturing output by 2025; and an annual average growth rate of 3% over the five year period. This is up from an output of approximately J$66 billion in 2018,” said Minister Campbell. ” As we move towards implementation of the Strategy, the Ministry is looking forward to working with our stakeholder partners across the public and private sector to implement the initiatives that will foster a more resilient manufacturing industry.”