MANDEVILLE — Ground was broken for a $34 million post-harvest facility in Coleyville, Manchester, on April 27, by Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton.
The project will provide much needed post-harvest management for agricultural crops in and around the area.
Addressing the ceremony, Dr. Tufton said the project will provide tremendous opportunities to small farmers in three parishes – Clarendon, Manchester and Trelawny.
Funded under the Improving Jamaica’s Agricultural Productivity (IJAP) programme, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), and the Ministry of Agriculture, the project is part of a much larger initiative in which $200 million is being spent to construct some 40 greenhouses in a number of parishes.
The Minister pointed out that 20 of the greenhouses will be constructed on small farms in Northern Clarendon, Northern Manchester and Southern Trelawny. “The produce from those greenhouses will come into this packaging facility for post-harvest management,” he explained.
Completion of the post-harvest facility is expected by October this year and will be managed by the Christiana Potato Growers Association Co-operative and Christiana Pride Limited. The project should result in the creation of 30 new jobs for the community.
“It will bring significant benefits to farmers and to the area generally. Our farmers are important to nation building and rural life, and we will continue to do what is necessary to build and to work with them to expand and to create wealth,” the Minister said.
The space to be provided by the new facility will be 700 square feet and will assist in the reduction of spoilage, due to improper harvesting and storage. It is anticipated that the facility will process some 8,000 tonnes of vegetable annually and engage over 150 farmers at agreed prices.
By GARFIELD L. ANGUS, JIS REGIONAL OFFICE