JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Allocation of $670 million dollars towards the rehabilitation of farm roads across the country. 
  • “This is to support the development of more efficient and cost-effective blends of fertilizers through the ministry’s research and development division in conjunction with our local fertilizer manufacturers,”
  • Other agricultural output from the government will include the allocation of $63 million for the preparation of up to one acre of land free of cost for 5000 farmers across the country.

The government has earmarked several agricultural initiatives in the 2022/2023 fiscal year to further develop the sector as a productive and sustainable industry. 

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., made the disclosure while addressing Thursday’s (May 26) eighth staging of the St. Ann Agricultural Industrial and Food Show at Port Rhoades Sport Club in Discovery Bay, St. Ann. 

Minister Charles Jr. stated that key among the initiatives is the allocation of $670 million dollars towards the rehabilitation of farm roads across the country. 

“If we [Jamaica] are producing more, we have to give famers an opportunity so they can have access. Also, people must be able to come and be able to access the produce and get into market,” the Minister indicated. 

He added that while the money will not be able to cover repairs for all the farm roads across the island, the ministry will ensure that it is spent “efficiently” and in a timely manner, demonstrating government’s commitment to supporting and providing value to Jamaican farmers. 

He said further lobbies will be made to the Minister of Finance and the Public Service, because “we are going to need more.” 

Another key area of focus, according to Mr. Charles Jr., is the provision of $100 million for fertilizer support. 

“This is to support the development of more efficient and cost-effective blends of fertilizers through the ministry’s research and development division in conjunction with our local fertilizer manufacturers,” he outlined  

This is important, he said, because one of the factors pushing up the price of production is the increased price of fertilizers. “So, when your ministry says that we are pumping a $100 million into making sure that we can use Jamaican products to keep the cost of fertilizer down, that is your government working for you,” he added.  

He said other agricultural output from the government will include the allocation of $63 million for the preparation of up to one acre of land free of cost for 5000 farmers across the country. He said this initiative aims to target youth and women and will be coordinated through Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS). 

Additionally, Mr. Charles Jr. pointed out that six water harvesting ponds are being constructed and rehabilitated within the parishes of Clarendon, St. Mary, Manchester and St. Ann to benefit farmers in those parishes. 

“So, we are going to work together because the business of food security is national security,” he stated.  

The St. Ann Agricultural Industrial and Food Show was held under the theme, ‘Promoting Agricultural Sustainability Through Vertical Integration’.  The event was organised by the JAS in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, RADA and other partners.  

The show featured displays by farmers from across the parish, as well as farming activities to include a farm queen competition, youth in agriculture, champion farmers and more.

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