$131 Million Allocated to Address Poverty in Banana-Dependent Areas

Story Highlights

  • More than $131 million has been allocated to the Jamaica Banana Accompanying Measures (JBAMS) project to combat poverty and improve earnings in banana-dependent areas.
  • The project, which is slated to run from October 2013 to September 2017, aims to improve the productivity and resilience of small farmers and strengthen the link between small farmers and markets.

More than $131 million has been allocated to the Jamaica Banana Accompanying Measures (JBAMS) project to combat poverty and improve earnings in banana-dependent areas.

Details are contained in the 2017/18 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.

The project, which is slated to run from October 2013 to September 2017, aims to improve the productivity and resilience of small farmers and strengthen the link between small farmers and markets.

There have been several achievements under the project up to January 2017. These include an increase in banana production yield by 29 per cent over the base year of 2011; a 30 per cent increase in the volume of farm input purchased per farmer, and completion of the construction of two plant nurseries

Additionally, there is ongoing technical support and training to banana and plantain farmers, development and approval of a banana value-added manual, and establishment of a web-based database of banana and plantain farmers.

Sales of farm inputs provided by the project to the All Island Banana Growers Association (AIBGA) stores increased by more than 150 per cent since project intervention.

The number of farmers utilising AIBGA ripening room increased from 19 in 2014 to more than 54 in 2016.

Other achievements are the establishment of a commercial tissue culture facility (bio-factory) to produce banana and plantain seedlings.

A value-added facility for processing bananas, plantains and other farm produce is being constructed on the AIBGA premises in Trinity, St. Mary.

 

The project is being implemented by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and funded by the Government of Jamaica and the European Union.

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