JIS News

Some $5 million has been allocated for agricultural development in North Western Clarendon, under the newly established Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
This was revealed by Minister of State for Industry, Investment and Commerce and Member of Parliament for North West Clarendon, Michael Stern, during his address at a community meeting held on Thursday (May 29) at the Frankfield Primary School in Frankfield, Clarendon. The meeting was held to announce plans for the development of the constituency as well as to hear suggestions, criticisms and ideas from residents concerning the development of their communities.
It was the first in a series of planned meetings in the constituency. The others are scheduled to take place at Sunberry Primary School, Thompson Town High School and Dorett Bent Church Hall on June 5, June 12 and June 19, respectively.
“Over the next eight months I am going to be instituting a lot of agricultural projects,” Mr. Stern said.
He mentioned tree planting, greenhouse farming, goat, pig and chicken rearing, ginger production as well as the resuscitation of coffee and cocoa production as some of the main projects to be established. He said that plans to resuscitate a coffee factory with agro-processing facilities in the constituency will have to get the approval from technical persons and support from farmers before the project could be established.
“There is high demand for coffee so we have to put the incentives in place for the farmers to go out and replant coffee throughout North West Clarendon,” he said, adding that the project could generate profits and create jobs.
“We can lift the production of coffee where we can open up the factory over there and create jobs.we are talking about the agro-processing part of it,” he added.
Additionally, the State Minister said that there are plans to set up an egg cluster in the Frankfield and Grantham communities where the excess eggs produced would be picked up from farms and delivered to the liquid egg factory.
Meanwhile, he said a list with the names of persons interested in farming using greenhouse technology was being prepared and that the selection process is on-going and should be completed this week.
In an interview with JIS News, Minister Stern said that the involvement of people was important in the development process and that some of the suggestions made by persons at the meetings would be included in the development plans.
“We want the people to be involved in what is taking place. We want them to feel what we are doing. We want them to share the vision. We want them to own the vision,” he said.
According to the Minister, the funds for projects will be released every four months, beginning in June. The CDF was established by Prime Minister Bruce Golding and the funds allocated in the 2008/2009 budget, to allocate approximately $40 million to each Member of Parliament, to spend on projects in their constituencies.