The Japanese government to revitalize the West Indian sea-island cotton industry in Jamaica for which it has decided to pump funds into Jamaicaâ€™s Sea Island cotton production through an arrangement with the Jamaica Agricultural Development Foundation (JADF).
The Jamaica Agricultural Development Foundation (JADF) has signed an $11 million grant agreement with the Japanese government which took place Tuesday (February 18) at the offices of the Jamaica Exportersâ€™ Association (JEA), on Winchester Avenue in Kingston. This also marked the commemoration of 50 years of diplomatic relations between Jamaica and Japan.
According to the JADF demand for the West Indian Sea Island Cctton is high as it has several world-recognised competitive advantages.
Speaking at the ceremony, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Roger Clarke commended the JADF for spearheading the development of the sea-island cotton industry, and the partnership with the Japanese government.
Clarke said that sea-island cotton, due to its superior quality, is one of the crops which gives the region its distinct competitive edge. Efforts to grow it elsewhere in the world have not resulted in the kind of quality achieved when it is grown in this region.
There is hardly any competition from other countries when it comes to producing this cottonâ€¦it does not spoil but adds value to the primary product, it fetches a high price, and is not known to have suffered from any act of praedial larceny, Clarke said that the return on investment in sea-island cotton is more than 30 per cent.
The sea-island cotton industry can create 15,000 new jobs, and earn close to $1 billion in foreign exchange.
As per JADF, Japan is the main market at this time for the Sea Island cotton which commands a premium price as the worldâ€™s highest quality cotton. The crop is grown by a few islands in the West Indies including Jamaica.
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