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JACRA review completed, says Agriculture Minister

Audley Shaw
 
Agriculture Minister Audley Shaw says a review of the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA) has been completed. 
 
In his closing presentation to the 2018/19 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, Mr. Shaw said he is to receive the report by this weekend.
 
The Agriculture Minister will then report to the nation on what aspects of the JACRA legislation will be amended. 
 
"The intent of the legislation is to remove the government from the commercial aspects of the coffee, cocoa, coconut and spices industries and to set up a regulatory regime conducive to the rapid development of these crops, which still have enomous potential; and while we can see that the legislation is not perfect, we have to hold firm to those provisions that seek to protect local production," the minister reasoned.  
 
Last month, Mr. Shaw assigned a working group to assess and review all aspects of the JACRA Act and its regulations in the wake of  concerns raised by the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), the Parliamentary Opposition and the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC).
 
One of the concerns was the taxes levied on pimento, cocoa, coffee, coconut, ginger and turmeric.
 
Meanwhile, Mr. Shaw has suggested that the government might have to consider tying the incentives provided to hotels to their willingness to do business with local companies.
 
Last month, it was revealed that local farmers and manufacturers supply only 20 per cent of goods used by the tourism industry. 
 


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