- Approximately 800 Jamaicans received employment opportunities
- The work saw a total of 68 kilometres of rural roads being rehabilitated under the project
- The Farm Road Maintenance Project was financed through the Petro Caribe Fund
Approximately 800 Jamaicans received employment opportunities through projects associated with the Farm Road Maintenance Project.
The work, which was carried out through the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) in partnership with the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP) saw a total of 68 kilometres of rural roads being rehabilitated under the project.
Speaking with JIS News, Director of Corporate Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, RADA, Shawn Baugh said the project, while creating employment prospects, also formed efforts to increase market access for rural farmers.
“We did approximately two roads per parish across the entire island…Our target was to employ just around 400 rural folks in this process, we surpassed that and we managed to employ just over 800 persons directly through our farm road intervention,” he said, adding that some 30 kilometres of roadway were initially targeted for rehabilitation under the first phase of the project.
The Farm Road Maintenance Project was financed through the Petro Caribe Fund in the amount of $78 million, of which $24 million was spent on the initial phase of the work.
The Director noted that prior to the project the farm roads, which were in a dilapidated state, are now accessible to vehicular traffic allowing farmers easier access to markets for their produce.
He noted that the rehabilitation work has also spurred economic activities in many of these farming communities.
“We see in some areas where the economic activities have been taking place as a result of the intervention and also we’ve been able to enhance a lot of the programmes that we’ve been trying in these areas, one of them mainly being…looking on the whole issue of climate change and climate related activities,” he said.
The JEEP is one of the Government’s strategies geared at countering chronic unemployment among some Jamaicans, particularly those in lower socio-economic groups. It also seeks to provide employment for persons with special needs, as well as those with low skill levels.