Some $177.6 million has been injected into the Crop/Livestock Production Programme in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
As outlined in the 2012/13 Estimates of Expenditure, the programme provides support to the farming community in the management and improvement of livestock and crop rearing.
The money will be divided among the Production Incentives Project, which will receive $40 million; the Agro-Investment Corporation, which will get $80 million; and the Revitalisation Dairy Sub-sector Project which has been allotted $57.6 million.
Money allocated under the Production Incentives Project will facilitate special incentives for small farmers. The project seeks to assist the most vulnerable small farmers in their efforts at production. Farmers will be provided with seedlings, spraying equipment, fertilisers, plant protection chemicals, feed and day old chicks.
The Agro-Investment Corporation functions as the Ministry’s business facilitation department and has overall responsibility for investment promotion and facilitation, project and market development. The money will be used to support these undertakings.
For the Revitalisation Dairy Sub-sector Project, the money will be used to facilitate loans, equity investments and grants to cattle producers for herd expansion, productivity enhancement and farmer training. The project will support the revitalisation of the dairy sub-sector as part of a national drive to enhance food security, livelihood protection and rural development.
The Jamaica Dairy Development Board will act as facilitator and monitor agency to ensure achievement of programme goals.
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter