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How Jamaica plans to revitalize the cotton industry

How Jamaica plans to revitalize the cotton industry

Posted by Shanelle Weir on January 30, 2015

The Jamaican government announced Wednesday a plan to revitalize and expand the cotton industry, setting a target of having 5,000 acres of cotton under production within the next four years.

The Jamaica Agricultural Development Foundation said in a statement that the area planted with cotton is expected to increase from the current 300 acres to approximately 800 acres by the end of 2016.

"An industry which is capable of creating 15,000 new jobs and generating almost $1 billion in foreign exchange earnings must be given all the support necessary," the minister of Agriculture, Labor and Social Security, Derrick Kellier, said in a statement.

Kellier said the revitalizing of the West Indian Sea Island Cotton industry will help Jamaica's economy, citing the superior quality of the material.

"I understand that there is hardly any competition from other countries. It is not a product that can be easily spoilt, it fetches a high price, and it is ideal for value addition," Agricultural Development Foundation CEO Vitus Evans said.

He said the Foundation is in discussion with Caribbean Broilers for a possible expansion of the sector in Jamaica to meet the demand from Switzerland, Japan, the United States, Italy and the United Kingdom.

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