JIS News

Farmers from the community of Arcadia, in South St. James, signed a contract on Thursday (April 1) with the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), giving their undertaking to furnish in cash or kind at least 11 per cent of the total project cost of $8.7 million for the rehabilitation of the Arcadia to Mellerswood roadway.
Work on that 2.7 kilometres of roadway has started and is expected to last for three months. Some 180 farmers are to benefit directly.
The contract signing ceremony, which took place on the roadway in Arcadia square, saw President of the citizen’s association, Neville Milton, signing on behalf of the residents, while Information Systems Manager at JSIF, Donald Miller, affixed his signature on behalf of his organisation. Member of Parliament for the area and State Minister in the Ministry of National Security, Derrick Kellier, witnessed the signing.
In his remarks, Mr. Miller said that since its inception in 1996 JSIF had spent approximately $576 million on 71-road projects islandwide.
“This has benefited farming communities in almost every parish, and our rural road rehabilitation programme continues with the contract we are signing today,” he said.
Mr. Miller pointed out that the improved roadway would facilitate an increase of approximately 30 per cent in agricultural production in that area.
“There is no doubt that this will provide a boost for the estimated 180 persons involved in farming in the area, since it will lower transportation costs and reduce damage to produce in transit.
The road will also benefit the wider population, who will have more freedom of movement and reduced transportation costs. This will be good news for the elderly, young children and those who have been severely inconvenienced by the poor road conditions in the past,” he said.
Member of Parliament, Derrick Kellier, urged the residents to ensure that their end of the bargain was kept, as he also implored them to protect the roadway when it was completed.

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