Agro-Economic Zone for Hanover

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson. (FILE)

Story Highlights

  • The Government is looking at establishing an agro-economic zone in Hanover to assist farmers with marketing their produce.
  • Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson, notes that the zone will enable farmers in Hanover, Westmoreland and St. James to “have a ready market for their produce”.
  • He pointed out that the agro-economic zone will consist of a complex that will have facilities where grading, packaging, processing and drying will be carried out. It is also expected to house a cold-storage facility.

The Government is looking at establishing an agro-economic zone in Hanover to assist farmers with marketing their produce.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson, notes that the zone will enable farmers in Hanover, Westmoreland and St. James to “have a ready market for their produce”.

Mr. Hutchinson was speaking at a handover ceremony for a $27-million honey-extraction and bottling facility in Hanover recently.

He pointed out that the agro-economic zone will consist of a complex that will have facilities where grading, packaging, processing and drying will be carried out. It is also expected to house a cold-storage facility.

“So, what will happen is that everything that the farmers grow will be marketed. It will be taken to the agro-economic zone, where it will be graded. Grade A goes to the hotels and export market; and Grade B goes to the local market,” he explained.

Mr. Hutchinson said that the Grade C produce, which is usually “left in the field to spoil”, will instead be processed into purée and juice.

This purée or juice will then go directly into a school breakfast programme for all secondary and primary schools, which the Government intends to put in place by next year.

Mr. Hutchinson noted, as well, that a private investor has already come on board to partner with the Government to get the agro-economic zone under way.

The honey-extraction and bottling facility was handed over to the Hanover Bee Farmers’ Cooperative Society by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF).

The facility will assist members of the Cooperative, as well as bee farmers in adjoining parishes, to improve market access and increase their earnings from the sale of honey.

JIS Social