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  • Key capacity building initiatives are to be carried out under the Rural Economic Development Initiative this year, with an allocation of $246.7 million in the 2015/16 Estimates of Expenditure.
  • The project aims to improve market access for micro and small-scale rural agricultural producers, and tourism product and service providers.
  • The project is slated to end in July 2016.

Key capacity building initiatives are to be carried out under the Rural Economic Development Initiative this year, with an allocation of $246.7 million in the 2015/16 Estimates of Expenditure.

The project aims to improve market access for micro and small-scale rural agricultural producers, and tourism product and service providers.

It is being implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), through funding from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).

Physical achievements up to December2014 include the implementation of 66 sub-projects under two components.

For component one (Implementation of Rural Sub-projects in Agriculture and Rural Tourism) 46 agricultural sub-projects and 15 tourism sub-projects were implemented.

Under component two (National Technical Assistance and Capacity Building) five sub-projects were implemented.

For the 2015/16 period, it is anticipated that the project will provide critical infrastructure, management and marketing in the agriculture and tourism sector through 16 sub-projects at a cost of $213.2 million.

Some of these projects include: provision of a drip irrigation system to selected farming groups; provision of a food safety infrastructure (bathrooms, pesticide storage, food storage) to selected farming groups; rehabilitation/construction of eight Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) agro-processing facilities; and provision of equipment for agro-processing facilities.

Others are: design and implementation of a sub-project to provide on farm water for the Hill Run Agro Park; provision of material for the construction of greenhouses; provision of training for agricultural and tourism groups in organisational strengthening, product analysis, marketing and some minor equipping; construction of a goat rearing facility for Linton Park Solidarity Movement; and construction of a cold storage facility at Knockalva.

In addition, four small-scale revenue generating sub-projects are to be implemented at a cost of $20.3 million. This involves the construction of four ginger shade houses.

National technical assistance and capacity building is also to be provided through the execution of two sub-projects at a cost of $9.5 million.

The project is slated to end in July 2016.