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A total of $51.3 million has been allocated to the Rural Competitiveness Programme in the 2010/11 Estimates of Expenditure, which is now before the House of Representatives.
The programme, which is funded by the Government and the Inter- American Development Bank (IDB), seeks to provide support that will result in the development of a modern, efficient and internationally competitive agricultural sector.
It also aims to implement a marketing and international quality management system; allow for the efficient institutional strengthening of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries; and deliver agricultural support services to foster the development of a market driven, and efficient, competitive and sustainable agricultural sector.
Anticipated physical targets for the 2010/11 fiscal year include the implementation of a market system, which will seek to develop a Master Plan, which will be the foundation for the successful marketing of fresh and value added products and livestock products; and to develop an operating manual for use by producers and exporters.
Other targets include: implementing a public awareness campaign; developing a database and strengthening of the record base systems; establishing a ‘One-Stop-Shop’ for business counselling, technical and marketing services; and providing support services to foster the development of a market driven, efficient, competitive and sustainable agricultural sector.
The programme is expected to begin April 2010 and conclude March 2018.