JIS News

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller says a task force is to be established to coordinate a series of government strategies aimed at enhancing rural development.

Making her contribution to the 2013/14 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, April 30, under the theme: “Jamaica: Going for Growth and Development – Unleashing Our Potential”, Mrs. Simpson Miller said the strategies include:developing agro parks to boost agricultural productivity and expand employment, as well as agro-industries to facilitate new product development, inclusive of neutraceuticals and other value-added products.

Other targeted strategies include:drought mitigation; improving farm roads; community and eco-tourism; establishing additional community access points and increasing access to the internet and related services; providing access to affordable housing solutions;delivering outstanding land titles;and business development.

Noting that rural development is a “critical” pillar of its planned development agenda, the Prime Minister said the administration will seek to implement these strategies over the next three years.

“An integrated plan of rural development will arrest the trend of rural to urban migration which places pressure on urban centres. The main emphasis for rural development will be on the building of townships; establishment of business enterprises; provision of access to health care facilities, schools, water, roads, electricity, technology; and the creation of opportunities for economic advancement,” she stated.

By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter