JIS News

Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Roger Clarke, has said that the government was in the process of establishing irrigation systems across the island at a cost of $2 billion.
Mr. Clarke, who was speaking at a function held today (Sept. 27) at the Agriculture Ministry’s Old Hope Road headquarters to launch World Food Day, said that the systems would “assist farmers to make the shift from rain-fed production, thereby enabling them to significantly increase their yields, while consistently supplying their markets.”
He pointed out that the investment formed part of the Ministry’s efforts to “re-position the sector as an engine of economic growth and to empower the rural and marginal people of this country.”
He added that the government is committed to use agriculture as a catalyst for rural development, and reverse the trend of persistent poverty.now taking centre stage.”
Stating that agriculture was not the only element in advancing rural development, Minister Clarke said, “the government is placing equal emphasis on supporting local infrastructure, with substantial investments of $100 million on rural electrification and $174 million on improving our rural water supply. In addition, a further “$100 million will be invested on road improvements”.
World Food Day is a programme of the Food and Agriculture Organization, which is designed to promote the development of agriculture as a means of eliminating hunger and ensuring food security. While the occasion is observed annually on October 16, Jamaica will mark the day this year on October 19.