Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says a water-retention pond will be constructed to hold 10 million gallons of irrigation water for farmers in the Greater Bernard Lodge Development.
Approximately 1,300 acres of land is being reserved in the development for small and medium-sized farmers.
The Prime Minister was addressing a press conference at SCJ Holdings Limited in St. Catherine on Friday (June 25), after a stakeholders’ tour of the project site, where he highlighted the support being provided to farmers.
“I want to inform the farmers, who are very anxious to get their water, that the problem is being solved,” he said.
“We did tour an area where we will be building a retention pond that will hold 10 million gallons. It is irrigation water, so it is coming from the canals into that reservoir. That water is going to the highest point of the entire area… and that will be gravity fed to the farmers, so the work is in progress,” he noted.
The Prime Minister said that farmers in the area will be supported with extension services and also benefit from the integration of technology in their farming practices. He said that farm roads will also be established.
“Over time, what you’re going to see in that 1,300 acres is a planned agricultural community… and we’re going to support the farmers there,” he said.
“You are going to see here an example of a modern, well-organised agricultural practice for small and medium-sized farmers in Jamaica,” he added.
The Greater Bernard Lodge Development Plan aims to create a sustainable, vibrant and resilient community that addresses challenges associated with affordable housing, transportation, access to jobs and services.
In addition to agriculture, the project is targeting the construction of 15,000 to 16,000 housing solutions and will also incorporate light industrial activities.