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$300m allocated for irrigation wells in Parnassus, Clarendon

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, says the Government has allocated $300 million to dig irrigation wells in Parnassus, Clarendon, to benefit farmers.

Bartlett made the disclosure while closing the 2021/22 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives yesterday, where he highlighted some of the major achievements and projects across various sectors.

Under the Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry, Bartlett noted that the sector saw an 8.4 per cent increase in export earnings in 2020, valuing US$238 million, which was up from US$216 million in 2019.

“The agriculture sector also recorded the highest level of output last year with a growth of 1.2 per cent for the period. The sector produced 697,679 tonnes in 2020, in comparison to 689,080 tonnes in 2019,” he added.

Bartlett said that the sector will soon benefit from more than $350 million in new investments that have been made by a number of business entities. 

These include a new $250-million agro-processing factory in Innswood, St Catherine by Shavuot International and a $100-million agro-processing facility by Spur Tree Spices Limited at the Holland Estate in St Elizabeth.

These investments, Bartlett noted, are in addition to $15 billion by Caribbean Broilers to expand its poultry and related operations, Rainforest Seafood's opening of a newly built bammy-making factory, Seprod Limited's export of cassava flour, Salada Foods Jamaica Limited's production of turmeric and ginger tea, and B & D Trawling Limited's manufacturing of escovitch sauce.

“To further boost the capacity of the farmers and fishers of this critical sector, we have also allocated a sum of $1.02 billion under the Production Incentive Programme for the 2021/22 financial year,” Bartlett said. 

“This will be used to facilitate crop and livestock support, climate change adaptation and mitigation, infrastructure support, grant assistance/agricultural promotions, buy-back programme and equipment,” he disclosed.