The Minister informed that action will include the establishment of a Steering Committee to undertake work aimed at creating the framework that will facilitate private sector inputs, through investments and “strategic alliances.”
Mr. Paulwell was addressing the third and final day of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) 10th Investment and Capital Markets Conference, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, on January 22, under the theme: ‘Regional Transformation through Innovation and Investments’.
Speaking on the topic: ‘Science and Technology: The Driver of Employment and Regional Transformation and Development’, Mr. Paulwell said the administration’s focus on developing a nutraceutical industry is premised on the fact that, “for too long, we have spoken of, and made use of the plant life indigenous (to) our country, without laying the foundation for a sustainable industry.”
The Minister noted that over 50 per cent of plants declared to have medicinal properties can be found growing in Jamaica.
Pointing out that the global market is “growing exponentially, with each passing year,” Mr. Paulwell said Jamaica stands to benefit significantly from increasing demands for product extracts, such as: powders, teas, roots and tonic wines, herbal medicines, and food supplements.
“We recognize that in order to grow our economy and position our country on the path of sustainable development…we must dispel the notion that we are a nation of samples (by producing for large-scale consumption),” he contended.
Nutraceuticals relate to outputs, such as isolated nutrients, dietary supplements, herbal products, as well as specific diets and processed foods, including cereals, soups and beverages.
Meanwhile, Mr. Paulwell advised that his Ministry, through its agency, the Scientific Research Council (SRC), will be playing a “critical role” in relation to advancing development of medicinal marijuana.
Noting that significant work has been advanced to develop medicinal marijuana in sections of the United States, and other countries, Mr. Paulwell emphasised that, “we intend, not only to catch up, but to (surpass) those countries, based on some of the research and development that we have done in this area.”
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