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Story Highlights

  • State Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Luther Buchanan, says efforts will be fast tracked in 2015 for the establishment of two model communities under the Government’s Rural Community Development Project
  • Speaking to JIS News on December 13, while on a tour of the two proposed communities -Stetin in Trelawny and Bethel Town in Westmoreland – Mr. Buchanan said major works are expected to begin in early 2015.
  • Meanwhile, Chairman of the Rural Development Task Force, Carl Salmon, said he is upbeat about the prospects of the two communities.

State Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Luther Buchanan, says efforts will be fast tracked in 2015 for the establishment of two model communities under the Government’s Rural Community Development Project, which is being funded by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), through its Rural Economic Development Initiative, (REDI) programme.

Speaking to JIS News on December 13, while on a tour of the two proposed communities -Stetin in Trelawny and Bethel Town in Westmoreland – Mr. Buchanan said major works are expected to begin in early 2015.

The State Minister, who oversees the Rural Development Task Force in the Office of the Prime Minister, said Stetin in South Trelawny is a yam producing area and a processing facility would be ideal for value-added operations.

“Stetin would also be an economic driver for the local economies of the adjoining communities,” he added.

Turning to the community of Bethel Town, which lies in his Eastern Westmoreland constituency, Mr. Buchanan said the area has most of the necessary infrastructure in place, and is ripe for development under the project.

“The prospects that exist with the sorrel processing plant in Bethel Town…speaks to the coming to reality of the Agro Park in Enfield to be that main plot of land for concentrated sorrel production to feed into this sorrel processing plant and to filter into the agricultural economy of Eastern Westmoreland,” he said.

Mr. Buchanan argued that the layout of Bethel Town will ensure that when developed, the area will be residents-friendly with all the main facilities being in touching distance of each other.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Rural Development Task Force, Carl Salmon, said he is upbeat about the prospects of the two communities.

Speaking specifically about Bethel Town, he said it has been identified that sorrel production for use at the recently opened processing facility in that community will be the main pillar of development.

“Based on what we know about Bethel Town, we consider it to be one that could be a prototype for the model of the rural development communities in Jamaica. It has certain infrastructure, including a police station, the (agro) park, the transport centre, the library, the fire station and all these are necessary for communities to develop and grow,” Mr. Salmon added.

 

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