Government Hails REDI Initiative’s Success

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang.

Story Highlights

  • The Government has hailed the success of the World Bank-funded Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI), which was implemented locally by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) from January 2010 to July 2017.
  • Speaking at the recent closing ceremony/symposium for the REDI project at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge in St. Andrew, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, said the partnership facilitating the initiative’s implementation has resulted in effective and meaningful changes in the beneficiaries communities.
  • Dr. Chang said the REDI project’s focus on assisting farmers develop and earn from their activities was one of the initiative’s most notable inputs.

The Government has hailed the success of the World Bank-funded Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI), which was implemented locally by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) from January 2010 to July 2017.

The US$15 million programme, which was pivotal in facilitating improved market access for micro and small-scale rural agricultural producers and tourism projects, was geared towards reducing poverty by increasing potential earning opportunities for persons, particularly in rural communities.

Speaking at the recent closing ceremony/symposium for the REDI project at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge in St. Andrew, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, said the partnership facilitating the initiative’s implementation has resulted in effective and meaningful changes in the beneficiaries’ communities.

He noted that REDI “falls in tandem with the Government’s commitment to move the nation from a state of dependence on lower forms of capital, to creating the environment where higher forms of capital are achieved, especially through entrepreneurship.”

The Minister pointed out that through the introduction of technologies and accompanying training in their usage, persons in rural areas have been empowered to utilise their skills and talents to gain financially while embracing and promoting Jamaica’s culture.

Dr. Chang said the REDI project’s focus on assisting farmers develop and earn from their activities was one of the initiative’s most notable inputs.

Additionally, he said investments facilitated in rainwater harvesting and drip irrigation systems, among other agricultural developments, have assisted in boosting production, resulting in significant income generation that will ultimately redound to the benefit of Jamaica’s economic growth agenda.

“This is in line with our Vision 2030 mission which is to create an environment and engage initiatives to strengthen critical sectors such as agriculture and tourism (in order) to (set) the country on a stable path to economic growth,” the Minister underscored.

Dr. Chang said JSIF’s piloting of the REDI project has helped the country to move closer to achieving its development goals by “facilitating the strengthening of the supply chain linkages between the agricultural sector and end users in processing, tourism, fast food chains, restaurants and supermarkets, and families.”

He further noted that the REDI project has supported the development of community-based tourism as a viable option and opportunity for economic investment.

“The project has certainly strengthened the capacity of rural groups to be able to plan and implement income-generating projects, (thereby) ensuring greater sustainability of rural development through inter -agency collaboration,” he added.

Dr. Chang further pointed out that two of the main guiding principles of the Vision 2030 Jamaica- National Development Plan, sustainability and partnerships – have been evident in the initiative.

For this reason he said “the Government is keen to continue supporting and endorsing projects, such as REDI, which has made a valuable impact in rural communities and the country.”

JIS Social