Agriculture ministry partners with JSIF to increase crop production

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Agriculture ministry partners with JSIF to increase crop production

Friday, September 25, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is partnering with the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) to increase the production and productivity of crops and livestock, processing, value addition and marketing.

According to the ministry, the partnership is part of phase II of the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI).

Speaking recently at a virtual stakeholders' sensitisation forum, Director of Project Management and Coordination in the ministry, Leitha Geddes, said the project aligns with the ministry's focus of strengthening value chains as well as strengthening the linkages in the tourism sector between producers/ service providers and buyers.

“Through these linkages, we anticipate improved economies of scale for small agricultural and tourism enterprises as well as increased emphasis on climate change,” she said.

Geddes added that this is relevant especially in these unprecedented times when there is a need to strengthen food security and to shore up income generation.

She also lauded the work done under the first phase of REDI, which began in 2010, and was concluded in 2017. She noted that some $1billion was spent on agricultural and agro-industrial projects under that phase.

“The project was also successful in expanding irrigation in rural communities through the establishment of rainwater harvesting and drip irrigation systems, which resulted in increased crop production among farmers in those areas,” the ministry noted.

“JSIF's piloting of REDI I has helped the country to move closer to achieving its development goal by facilitating the strengthening of supply chain linkages between the agricultural sector and end users in tourism, fast food chains, restaurants and supermarkets,” Geddes said.

“This must also be the case for REDI II. It must build on the gains of its predecessor and solidify them to give our farmers and other stakeholders of the project a fighting chance at surviving these times and beyond.”

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