Rehabilitation of the Bingham Hill farm road in St. Ann has brought much joy to residents living in and around the surrounding districts.
The roadway was officially opened on July 16 by former Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson.
The roadway was repaired under the Government’s National Farm Road Rehabilitation Programme, being implemented by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).
It connects the Coffee Ridge and Mount Moriah districts and also allows additional access to other areas.
Farmer Vivian Hill told JIS News that the rehabilitated roadway is a “new beginning” for agriculture in the community and its environs.
“I am happy that we found the right persons who are sympathetic to the community and have given us our road. Now the farmers are able to produce more and can go even deeper into the woods to plant,” he said.
Another resident, Linburgh Gayle, noted that the road had been in need of repair for more than 40 years, and farmers had difficulty throughout this time to increase their production as well as to transport their produce.
Many, he noted, even opted to leave farming and the districts lost their agricultural value.
“But getting back this road, we will see more production coming on stream,” Mr. Gayle said.
Teacher of Mount Moriah Primary and Infant, Audrey Campbell, said the repairs are also a blessing for children from the Coffee Ridge community.
She indicated that children found it difficult to attend school due to the once deplorable condition of the Bingham Hill farm road. She said that often, children had to take the longer route to school and many parents even decided to pull them from the institution.
“So today, the staff of Mount Moriah Primary and the people of John Reid and Coffee Ridge are really happy to see the opening of this road, and come September, we will be having a lot of students who will be taking this road to school,” Ms. Campbell said.
The upgrade of the roadway forms part of ongoing farm road improvements in the parish, where approximately $42 million has been spent over the past two financial years to benefit some 1,800 farmers.