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An allocation of $23.7 million has been earmarked in the 2008/09 Estimates of Expenditure for the Jamaica 4-H Clubs.
The sum will be used to undertake activities under the Youth Development, and Production and Training Enterprise Programmes.
Under the Youth Development Programme, it is aimed to develop the interest and capabilities of children and young adults in agriculture and community-related ventures as a means of promoting national development. The 4-H clubs primarily mobilize, educate, and train young people between 9 and 25 years of age in agriculture, social, cultural, and home-making skills.
The Production and Training Enterprise Programme focuses on the commercial production of food crops as well as agro-industry at 4-H centres across the island.
Meanwhile, a sum of $65 million has been set aside as grants to the National Irrigation Commission (NIC), to undertake construction of irrigation infrastructure. The objectives of this programme are to maximize the effective utilization of irrigation water through conveyance and distribution, and provide guidance and training in on-farm water management techniques to achieve greater efficiency in the agricultural sector.
Of the amount allocated, $40 million will be used for the lining canals component, which will facilitate the maintenance and rehabilitation of canals. The remaining $25 million will be used to undertake capital works, and will provide the requisite support for: land regularization to facilitate the formalization of the reservations, right of way, and easements for the irrigation plant and infrastructure islandwide, as well as rehabilitation of the NIC’s head office.