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Broad Topic: Agriculture Narrowed Topic: Agriculture can provide employment opportunities for youths in Jamaica With the

recent appointment of Andrew Holness as Prime Minister, a lot of the scope is now on the youths in Jamaica and what they have to offer. However, a lot of the younger persons, especially those just out of university and high school seemed to be lost in the system as they complain about the lack of jobs and other opportunities for them after completing their education. Beckford (2007) noted that the lack of employment opportunities was one concern that the youths needed to see addressed. The current economic landscape of Jamaica and the world on a whole doesnt look to provide a lot of opportunities but one area that is deemed to be underdeveloped in terms of job creation is the agriculture sector.

The main problem now is that the youths have basically avoided agriculture to focus on other areas for employment. Redpath (2010) pointed out that according to former Agriculture Minister Christopher Tufton, the agricultural sector in Jamaica today is frowned upon as a career choice. The article noted that due to a cultural bias that now envelops our country when it comes to jobs in agriculture; these are usually not encouraged by families. In Jamaica currently, most jobs are linked to the service industry which mostly relies on tourism and so while these areas are given attention, agriculture while it addressed gets far less attention that those. Problems further lie with the fact that it seems to bring in far less foreign exchange than others like tourism and thus, investors will tend to stay

away from what they deem will employ too much risk. So with the country siding towards other areas for development, then the youths also will follow the trend and in that way neglect one of the most promising sectors that are available.

Looking at the sector right now, Jamaica is unable to feed itself from the quantity of food that it produces each year. In a Jamaica Gleaner Article, economist Dennis Morrison points out that Jamaica imports a large amount of food to meet the consumption demands of its population. However, if there were substantial investments in agriculture at a time when the country was trying to cut its food bill from around a billion US, then that would mean they would have to develop human resource to coincide with that development (Jamaica Gleaner 2011). That human resource could now be developed to meet those demands, especially by educating the youths about how they can benefit. As mentioned earlier, looking at the size of the food bill, if substantial investment was done, that money could be transformed into job creation opportunities for persons which would definitely include the youths. With proper investment financially and educationally, we are certain to be able to help bring about job creation for youth in Jamaica today.

There are a number of opportunities that present themselves by investing in agriculture in Jamaica, as in Jamaica there are certain things already in place. Jamaica has enough land space to grow what we need to feed ourselves. There is abundant rainfall to meet the amounts necessary for crop cultivation in the country. Jamaica is now looking to incorporate technology into its agricultural

framework with plans to develop greenhouse farming and others to make the industry more efficient. Bearing these in mind, the opportunities that are here should be able to create a substantial area for job creation in the nation that is certain to benefit the youths in the country.

B e c k f o rd , M . ( 2 0 0 7 , A u g u s t 9 ) . C r i m e , e d u c a t i o n a n d l a c k o f j o b s t ro u b l e youth. The Jamaica Gleaner. Re d pa t h , L . ( 2 0 1 0 , A u g u s t 3 ) . Tu ft o n u rg e s y o u t h t o g e t m o re i n v o l v e d i n a g r i c u l t u re . T h e J a m a i c a G l e a n e r . h t t p : / / j a m a i c a - g l e a n e r. c o m / g l e a n e r / 2 0 1 0 0 8 0 3 / n e w s / n e w s 2 . h t m l Produce More Here - Economist Wants Country To Learn To Feed Itself. The Jamaica Gleaner. Retrieved from