Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says that the Bernard Lodge Development project is designed to help modernize and expand the agricultural sector by increasing production, thereby improving Jamaica’s food security, creating jobs, and growing the economy.
He noted that Jamaica’s agricultural sector plays an essential role in our country’s economic growth and development, accounting for more than 7 per cent of national Gross Domestic Product.
Minister Shaw, who was speaking at a video recording for the Bernard Lodge Development project at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices on June 12, informed that “the project, which includes housing and commercial development, is the first of its kind in Jamaica and, will feature over 3,000 acres of land dedicated to modern and efficient agriculture”.
He added further that the new development will also increase agricultural leases from 171 to 235 for livestock rearing and crop cultivation; create a new 1,330-acre agricultural subdivision called Bernard Lodge South; introduce state-of-the-art irrigation system and farming technologies; give farmers access to modern Mother Farm Services and introduce vertical integration through agro-processing.
The Bernard Lodge development will cover a total of 5,397.02 acres from approximately 21,000 acres of former sugar estate lands, with over 3,000 acres allotted for agricultural purposes and the remaining acreage divided among residential, commercial and light-manufacturing use.
It is a long-term (20-year) plan that will be able to accommodate future population growth in the Kingston Metropolitan Region while creating a vibrant and sustainable community that addresses the challenges of affordable housing, transportation and access to jobs and services.