Government investing $12 billion in agriculture – Clarke
Finance Minister Nigel Clarke. (Photo: JIS)

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke says the Government is making the largest capital investment ever made in agriculture, with more than $12 billion programmed across fiscal years 2022/23 and 2023/24.

He indicated that the provision is earmarked to build out irrigation, pumps, piping, storage and farm road infrastructure in St Catherine, Clarendon, and St Elizabeth.

The minister further informed that this is being done through the Essex Valley and Southern Plains Agricultural Development Projects.

“This will deliver high or value-added agriculture opportunities,” Dr Clarke stated.

He was closing the 2023/24 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

Dr Clarke also advised the House that the Government is working on improving Jamaica’s logistics regime through the development of the Caymanas Economic Zone, which will attract investors in this area and, in the process, generate higher-paying jobs.

Meanwhile, Dr Clarke informed that the ministry of tourism is working assiduously to diversify the tourism product.

“We are working to introduce higher-end integrated resorts, which require higher value-added, higher paying jobs,” he stated, adding that the Government is about to issue the first licence for an integrated resort development.

An integrated resort development must have a minimum of 1,000 hotel rooms, of which 500 must be luxury rooms.

Additionally, the development must have a minimum capital investment of US$500 million.

The concept was introduced by the Government in consideration of further expanding the tourism product.

These luxury resort developments include, but are not limited to, hotels, villas, sporting and recreational facilities, shopping centres and casino gaming.

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