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Farmers in St. Ann are set to benefit from an injection of funds, which will go towards the marketing of their produce, training, among other needs.
Member of Parliament (MP) for North West St. Ann, Othniel Lawrence, pledged $5 million from his Constituency Development Fund (CDF) towards these efforts, when he addressed the annual general meeting of the St. Ann Branch Societies of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) held recently at the St. Mark’s Anglican Church Hall in Brown’s Town.
“I do have a serious concern and it is that farmers are able to produce but are not able to market their goods. I am giving (JAS) a charge to see how best they can assist in helping farmers to always have a way of selling their produce,” he stated.
“In allocating that $5 million from the CDF, I am saying.that (with) $2 million out of that $5 million, we could deal with areas such the marketing of agricultural produce and training. The remaining $3 million would stand to serve the farmers in other aspects,” he outlined.
Mr. Lawrence encouraged the JAS and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) to seek the assistance of the other MPs in the parish to implement programmes to benefit farmers.
He congratulated the JAS on its achievements and commended the organisation on its work in the development of agriculture in the parish and the country on the whole.
Prime Minister, Bruce Golding in 2008, established the CDF to finance sustainable development projects. Funded from the national budget, it provides a dedicated allocation for community development activities, in each of the island’s 60 political constituencies, with elected representatives having primary responsibility for co-ordinating projects.
Last year MPs were allocated $40 million for development projects under the CDF.