JIS News

For the 2005/06 financial year, the Jamaica Business Recovery Programme, which is being funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will focus on rendering assistance valued at $189 million (US$3 million) to 175 client farmers, who were adversely affected by Hurricane Ivan last year.
State Minister for Agriculture, Errol Ennis, made the announcement during his 2005/06 Sectoral address in Gordon House on June 22.
Under the programme, $136.4 million will be allocated to the horticulture sector, $27.2 million to the fisheries sector, $13.4 million to poultry/livestock, and $12.4 million to crafts and miscellaneous sectors.
Minister Ennis said each of the farmers would be supplied with drip irrigation systems and other types of production assistance to enable them to demonstrate good agricultural practices on their farms. “These farms,” he said, “are currently being selected and will be strategically located in some of the major production districts of St. Elizabeth, Manchester, Clarendon, St. Catherine, and St. Ann.”
He stressed that it was important for the farms to be strategically located as they would function not only as commercial enterprises, but also as demonstration centres, “providing exposure to good agricultural practices to an additional 2,000 farmers from neighbouring areas.”
Projected targets under the Jamaica Business Recovery Programme include, guaranteeing production sustainability for the client farmers, increasing crop yields by at least 100 per cent, and decreasing unit production cost by 50 per cent.