JIS News

Story Highlights

  • A sum of $592.79 million will be spent this year on a project to improve the market access for micro and small-scale rural agricultural producers and tourism product and service providers.
  • Several achievements were recorded in Component One of the programme, which relates to the implementation of rural sub-projects in agriculture and rural tourism.
  • The Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) is implementing the project, which is being funded by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

A sum of $592.79 million will be spent this year on a project to improve the market access for micro and small-scale rural agricultural producers and tourism product and service providers.

This allocation to the project, titled ‘Rural Economic Development Initiative’, is contained in the 2016/17 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.

Through this project, which started in 2010, the supply chain linkages between the agricultural sector and end users in processing, the tourism sector, fast food chains, restaurants and supermarkets are to be strengthened.

Other objectives of the initiative include: supporting the development of community-based tourism as a viable option for economic investment; strengthening of the capacity building of rural groups to be able to plan and implement income-generating projects; and ensuring greater sustainability of rural development through inter-agency collaboration.

Several achievements were recorded in Component One of the programme, which relates to the implementation of rural sub-projects in agriculture and rural tourism. The achievements include: completion of 52 greenhouses and three pig-rearing facilities; equipping of nine fishermen cooperatives with cold storage and safety equipment to benefit 2,000 fisherfolk; and the completion of one sorrel juice factory equipped with Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP).

Under Component Two, which covers national technical assistance and capacity building, achievements include: the completion of a pork value chain study; training of 160 exporters and Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries personnel in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good  Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and the Food Safety Modernisation Act (FSMA); and completion of on-farm packing and sanitation infrastructure. A Community Tourism Policy was also approved in Parliament in April 2015.

Anticipated targets for the 2016/17 financial year include: the establishment of 160 greenhouses under vegetable crop production; the establishment of four ginger shade houses producing disease-free planting materials; equipping of six community groups in major crop-producing areas with drip irrigation kits; the construction and equipping of seven agro-processing facilities; and the construction of seven food safety infrastructure facilities.

The Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) is implementing the project, which is being funded by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.