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Jamaica Minister announces $100-MILLION programme to ramp up Food Production

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#KINGSTON, April 9 (JIS):  Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, says the Ministry is spending some $100 million on a programme aimed at mitigating the impact of drought on farmers and to gain at least a five-per cent growth in food production.

            He said the programme will be carried out over a 12-month period, targeting the planting of vegetables, fruits, condiments, roots and tubers as well as the rearing of small ruminants.

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“The programme will be implemented in critical parishes islandwide, targeting in excess of 13,000 farmers as the Ministry looks to stimulate growth. We have every intention of ramping up production in all areas of agriculture,” Mr. Shaw noted.

The Minister was addressing the virtual launch of Farmer’s Month on Thursday (April 9), where he outlined agricultural initiatives in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

He noted that the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) has commenced islandwide distribution of agricultural inputs under the $240-million stimulus programme, aimed at purchasing excess produce from farmers.

He said that focus must now be placed on ramping up production and productivity, providing irrigation and other critical infrastructure, incorporating climate-smart approaches, and instituting comprehensive marketing and distribution programmes as well as “an invigorated agro-processing programme”.

Minister Shaw informed that during Farmer’s Month, H&L True Value will be donating $2 million worth of inputs to support any production and productivity initiatives being implemented by the Ministry, and giving special discounts of up to 10 per cent on most items for farmers and gardening enthusiasts.

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The company has also offered to extend a discount of up to 15 per cent for farmers who have participated in the donation of produce to the quarantined communities, and the special programme to buy and redistribute excess farm products.

Mr. Shaw lauded farmers who donated $7.5 million worth of crops to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s relief efforts.

He implored farmers to step up production in order to ensure the nation’s food security at this time, noting that the planting of vegetables and fruits, condiments and spices, roots and tubers and field and forage crops “should never cease”.

“We look forward to planting season as we work together towards an abundant harvest ahead,” he said.

JIS News By GARFIELD L.ANGUS

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

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Deputy Premier Spot on, TCI TODAY Removed from EU Blacklist

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Deandrea Hamilton

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#TurksandCaicosIslands – February 20, 2024Sixteen months after being added to the European Union’s Black List for non-cooperative tax jurisdictions, the Turks and Caicos Islands is now off that list.

“Today,the Council removed The Bahamas, Belize, Seychelles and Turks and Caicos Islands from the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.”

The release explicitly states that in the case of the Turks and Caicos and The Bahamas, “ever since October 2022, deficiencies in the enforcement of economic substance requirements had been identified in both of these jurisdictions by the OECD Forum of Harmful Tax Practices (FHTP).”

It was recommended for remedy to the deficiencies has now been “converted from hard to soft recommendations,” said the statement.

That pivot was fundamental in the de-listing of the two countries said the information from the Council.

“…which allowed the Code of Conduct Group to consider these jurisdictions with no or only a nominal corporate income tax.”

When Magnetic Media spoke to E. Jay Saunders, Turks and Caicos Deputy Premier and Finance Minister in March 2023 he had full confidence that it was only a matter of time before the TCI was given a more favourable position with the EU. 

“There is no question about it. I’m confident that by February 2024, we will be off the list– I’m completely confident and there are no lasting repercussions.”   

 It had been sub-par computer systems that landed the TCI on the list.  The Deputy Premier, at the time offered that the EU was being too dramatic and its language, disproportionate surrounding the issue. 

That black listing and gray listing is often viewed as a black eye in the financial services sector, therefore this announcement today is vindication for the TCI and a huge plus for the Fintech ambitions of the Misick-led government.

 Twelve others remain with the unsavory categorization including Caribbean neighbours: Trinidad and Tobago; US Virgin Islands; Anguilla and Antigua and Barbuda.

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Jamaica hosts 2nd Global Tourism Resilience Conference

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#GlobalTourism#Jamaica, February 19th, 2024 – Strengthening the future of global tourism against growing climate challenges, Jamaica hosted the 2nd Global Tourism Resilience Conference in Montego Bay from February 17th to the 18th, featuring high level delegates from the around the world, such as the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization and spearheaded by its co-founder, Edmund Bartlett, the Minister of Tourism for Jamaica. The conference was under the theme “Navigating the Future of Tourism Resilience,” and addressed the swift need for more innovative strategies to combat the growing challenges that threaten Tourism. Sustainable tourism practices, crisis management, digital transformation, and the importance of promoting global partnerships, were among the topics discussed. 

 

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Caribbean News

Dengue in Peru-Over 12 Thousand Cases

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

 

#Dengue#Peru, February 19th, 2024 – Since the start of the year, there have been more than thirteen thousand cases of dengue in Peru, with over three thousand in the fifth week alone, according to the Peruvian Ministry of Health. The northern region reportedly has the highest number of cases. Revealed in a February 16th report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs, this represents a 53.4 percent increase in cases compared to 2023. This massive increase is linked to prolonged heat waves caused by the El Nino effect, the ministry reporting over 100 consecutive unusually hot days and more than 200 warm nights. Higher temperatures create favorable conditions for dengue transmission.

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