Advertisement
JIS News

The North Clarendon Ginger Resuscitation Project was, on Wednesday (January 27) launched in Top Alston, in North West Clarendon.
The project, one of approximately 50 community-based projects that received funding from the Private Sector Development Programme (PSDP) in 2008, will impact approximately 1,300 farmers.
Member of Parliament for North West Clarendon, and State Minister for Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Michael Stern, explained that the project was the result of a meeting held with farmers from the Top Alston/Moravia ginger growing area.
“This was a vision I got when I had an office meeting with the farmers and they were complaining about the amount of ginger they were losing due to diseases versus what they used to get in terms of the amount of yield,” he said.
Meanwhile, State Minster for Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson, welcomed the North Clarendon Ginger Resuscitation Project citing ginger as one of the crops that the Ministry of Agriculture has targetted to assist farmers in obtaining low interest rate loans through the People’s Co-operative Banks, and Micro Financing Institutions.
He pointed out that two crops: irish potatoes and onions, were already identified under the programme and that farmers who wish to plant these crops can get loans at 2.5 per cent per month.
“One of the things that we usually complain about is the marketing of produce. The other thing is those persons who want to go into farming but do not have collateral.so it is difficult. Another thing that you have, is the cost of inputs,” he noted.
Hence, he informed, the Ministry had decided to address this problem starting with irish potatoes and onions. “We have gone to some of the financial institutions and we have asked them to come on board to assist those farmers with low interest rates loans,” he said.
He said that as of February this year, ginger, carrot, sweet potatoes and pepper will be the next set of crops to be targetted under the programme. “With that, we are saying to all of you who are on ginger production, that you will be able to access these loans,” he said.
The State Minister noted that ginger had suffered a 55 per cent decline in 1998, but that the Ministry was targetting as one of the crops to drive the economy, through resuscitation.
He disclosed that another programme dubbed the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) and geared towards the enhancement of agriculture, and tourism will soon be launched. The initiative is being implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), and will provide grant funding for projects in rural communities.
“It is for projects like cold storage, vegetable warehouse, packing facilities, processing equipment and even to put up public bathrooms to promote the development of value added produce to extend the shelf life of the product,” he outlined.