Advertisement
JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The system, which was handed over on May 2, has been set up to maintain a five-acre vegetable/food crop project.
  • It was established through the collaborative effort of the Government, World Bank, Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI), JSIF and the Alpart Community Council.
  • The JSIF provided $6.63 million for the project, while the sponsors, Alpart Community Council, contributed $2.8 million by way of land and sweat equity.

About 46 farmers of the Alpart Community Council in Nain, St. Elizabeth, are to benefit from sustainable employment and income generation through the installation of a drip irrigation system.

The system, which was handed over on May 2, has been set up to maintain a five-acre vegetable/food crop project, which will see thyme, cabbage, sweet pepper and pumpkin being grown on a consistent basis,  that should  result in gross earnings of approximately $6 million.

It was established through the collaborative effort of the Government, World Bank, Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI), Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) and the Alpart Community Council, at a cost of  $9.43 million.

The JSIF provided $6.63 million for the project, while the sponsors, Alpart Community Council, contributed $2.8 million by way of land and sweat equity.

Farmers have received the requisite training in fertigation (fertilization and irrigation) to develop a reliable vegetable production plan, which had been a problem due to prolonged drought in St. Elizabeth.

The main objective of the project is to contribute to domestic food security and to promote market-driven production, resulting in greater consistency in yield and price of the crops.

Addressing  the handing-over ceremony, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Roger Clarke, commended the farmers of St. Elizabeth for their hard work and great resilience in seeking to feed the nation.

“Let me begin by commending the farmers of St. Elizabeth … who have made their mark over time. They are the most resilient farmers that Jamaica will ever produce. They have taught us how to survive and how to produce under trying circumstances,” the Minister said.

He also lauded JSIF, Alpart, and other stakeholders/organizations which have made the project a reality for the farmers.

“We are now producing to the extent that we are satisfying and over-satisfying local demand and we have to look overseas. We are presently establishing a platform for markets in Miami to penetrate not only the Diaspora but the entire North American region,” the Minister said.

“We are also dealing with a consortium out of the United Kingdom that visited recently. They are now signing contracts, as they want, based on production, a minimum of 200 acres of sweet potatoes from Jamaica,” Mr. Clarke informed.