JIS News

The Hurricane Gustav Agricultural Rehabilitation Project has received a boost of approximately $260 million in the 2009/10 Estimates of Expenditure, currently before the House of Representatives.
The project aims at assisting in the rehabilitation of the Jamaican agricultural sector, through improvement of the rural road infrastructure and production of targeted crops.
To be completed under the project are: assistance to 1,978 farmers, through the establishment of an additional 835 hectares of nine specific crops; rehabilitation of 74 to 100 kilometres of rural roads in eastern parishes; and the provision of fertiliser and seedlings to 342 small and medium sized farmers to establish 34.4 hectares of Blue and non-Blue Mountain Coffee.
It is expected that for this fiscal year, priority will be given to unpaved agricultural roads in the parishes with severely damaged road infrastructure. These parishes are:
St. Mary, St. Andrew, St. Thomas and Portland. The rehabilitation and improvement of rural roads will cost approximately US$1.9 million.
The production, productivity and marketing of 10 selected crops will see the provision of inputs such as land preparation, planting material and fertiliser, as well as the provision of advanced technology, such as drip irrigation systems.
Coffee farms are also earmarked for rehabilitation with the provision of some 1,500 bags of fertiliser; 85,000 coffee seedlings; and training to farmers in the proper use and application of fertilisers and coffee planting techniques to selected beneficiaries.
The project, which started in November 2008, is scheduled for completion September 2009.
The project is funded by the Government and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), with overall oversight by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.

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