JIS News

State Minister for Agriculture, Errol Ennis has announced that several state-owned land will be put into commercial agricultural production.
Mr. Ennis, who was making his contribution to the 2005/06 Sectoral Debate in Parliament on June 22, said that among the properties earmarked for development are some 95 hectares of land at Thetford, St. Ann. The project will be financed by a private entrepreneur and will incorporate the production of crops and livestock such as hot peppers, fruit, vegetable, fish, pigs and poultry. “Land preparation is in progress and the packing plant is being prepared. Financing for this project is reported to be secured subject to the availability of appropriate securities, ” the State Minister said.
Some 20 farmers between the ages of 17 and 35, with post-secondary training in agriculture will be selected for the vegetable aspect of the project, which should commence at an early date following approval by the technical review committee.
Another 100 hectares of land at Rhymesbury, Clarendon will be put into diary production, a property at New River, St. Elizabeth will be developed by a company primarily engaged in agriculture and eco-tourism, while cashew farming will be undertaken on lands at Amity Hall, St. Catherine. He noted that there has been some difficulty on securing planting material for the Amity Hall project, “but nonetheless 40 of 300 hectares are now established.”
Meanwhile, the Jamaica Agricultural Development Foundation (JADF) is to proceed shortly to implement 405 hectares for shrimp production, an eight-hectare breadfruit property is being developed, and a modern abattoir and meatpacking plant is proposed to be established on 80 hectares (200 acres) of land.
Pre-feasibility studies for the abattoir are now being conducted, the state Minister said, adding that the plant when implemented, would provide tremendous support to the cattle rearing industry.