KINGSTON, Jamaica: Opposition Spokesperson on Agriculture and Water, Member of Parliament Lothan Cousins, is urging the Agriculturte Minister Audley Shaw, to provide an explanation for the summary dismissal of members of the Andrew Simpson led Board of Directors of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and its immediate dissolution.
In a statement today, Mr. Cousins said it was unacceptable that a major board which drives Jamaica’s agricultural production and provides support services to thousands of farmers could be summarily dismissed, without even an announcement from the portfolio minister. “This is not in keeping with good governance practices and must be addressed by Minister Shaw without delay”, said Cousins.
The Spokesperson said that the summary dismissal of any government board requires an explanation. RADA is deserving of better treatment and the stakeholders cannot be held in such contempt by the Government. The agricultural sector needs further and better particulars from the Minister as the organization and the sector cannot afford to be distracted by political sideshows. Mr. Cousins said that since assuming responsibility as Shadow Minister of Agriculture, he has been complaining about RADA’s direction and lack of focus on its core functions.
The Opposition is therefore calling on the Minister to immediately name a new board, as this is necessary to ensure continuation of services to farmers. Cousins emphasized that, “The continuous reports of poor governance and lack of transparency across several sectors in this administration, is indicative of the Government’s lack of regard for the people. Our citizens deserve better, our farmers deserve better, Jamaica deserves better”.