Farmers in several communities across the island will now have easier access to major markets following the improvement of roads under the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries’ National Farm Road Rehabilitation Programme.
The roads, which will officially open shortly, include White Hall to Spring Road and Barking Lodge to Chapel Hill in St. Thomas; Long Coffee, and Halifax to Bethany in Manchester; Bingham Hill in St. Ann; Back Street, and Donegal to Frazer in St. Elizabeth; and Bois Content to Crawl Pass, and the Ebony Park Agro Park in Clarendon.
A sum of $800 million was allocated in the 2018/19 Budget for the road repairs. The scope of works includes resurfacing, patching, cleaning, construction and improvement of drainage and general maintenance of farm and feeder roads.
The National Farm Road Rehabilitation Programme was implemented in 2015 in order to address the challenges faced by farmers in transporting their produce to market.
The objective is to facilitate sustainable and viable economic agricultural activities islandwide.
Improvement works have been undertaken on 95 roads in 13 parishes to date, impacting the livelihood of over 12,000 farmers.
Previous phases of the programme have resulted in improved market access and income for farmers, while enhancing domestic agricultural production.