JIS News

A number of roadways in North West St. Ann are being rehabilitated through a $10 million allocation from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
Member of Parliament (MP), Othneil Lawrence, in his 2009/10 Sectoral presentation in Parliament on Tuesday (July 28), said that under the constituency’s road improvement programme, which has received “critical input” from the Ministry of Transport and Works and the Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI), work on roads in some 15 areas have been completed, or were near completion.
Communities to benefit are Scarlett Hall, Hampton, Salem, Chester, Farm Town, Bethel Town, Content, Wood’s Town, Belfield, Keith, Retirement, Mount Edgecombe, and Orange Hill. Work has also been done on Johnson Road in Bamboo, the Ingleside Road which leads to the Brown’s Town and York Castle High Schools, also in Brown’s Town.
Mr. Lawrence also informed that work has been progressing on schedule on farm roads at Cockpit to Orange, Lewis to Summerhill, and Thickets to Discovery Bay.
Addressing other agricultural matters, Mr. Lawrence told the House that approximately $5 million has been committed from the CDF to assist farmers to market their produce, with $3 million of the sum to go towards an “intense training initiative,” which will be undertaken by the Brown’s Town Community College and the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS).
Hotels, especially large properties, he said, “are being constantly encouraged to maintain their support for the nation’s farmers.”
Currently, there are over 3,500 farmers in the constituency, who are registered with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA). They are drawn mainly from the communities of Brown’s Town, Bamboo, Kensington, Lower and Middle Buxton, Lillyfield, Keith, Sturge Town, Thickets, and Beverly.
The constituency recorded a 50 per cent increase in cash crop yields last year, the MP told the House.
Meanwhile, Mr. Lawrence informed that in the wake of the consolidation of the operations of St. Ann Bauxite Partners, consequent on the global recession, which has resulted in 150 workers being laid off, several proposals have been drafted in tandem with key constituency stakeholders, to convert reclaimed lands for agricultural purposes.
Mr. Lawrence also advised that $12 million, which will be allocated from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, will be spent to improve the aesthetics of fishing beaches in the constituency.

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