A US$14-million investment over the next five years to drive a minimum 50 percent increase in the production of ginger, turmeric and pimento has been announced by Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining, Floyd Green.
Addressing the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) St Elizabeth Open Day Agrifest at the Social Development Commission (SDC) complex in Santa Cruz recently, Green said farmers who are not currently engaged in cultivating the valuable crops have an opportunity to participate in the strategic investment.
The Minister argued that this project is poised to enhance Jamaica’s agricultural output and contribute to the growth of the sector.
“So, if you’re interested, then touch base with RADA. Let us see how we can get you back into that area, because there is tremendous potential there,” said Green.
He noted that this is just one of a series of initiatives and investments aimed at enhancing food security as well as paving the way for a prosperous interaction between farmers and buyers.
“Last year, we did about five farm roads across the parish; this year we want to do a minimum 10 farm roads, and I am looking to move this up to 12 farm roads across St Elizabeth,” Green said.
The Minister acknowledged the challenging conditions of many farm roads in the parish and the urgent need to accelerate the pace of improvement to connect more communities and facilitate improved access.
In the meantime, he reiterated the Government’s commitment to transforming the agricultural landscape of St Elizabeth, and Jamaica by extension, adding that special emphasis will also be placed on empowering youth and women farmers to further drive inclusivity and sustainable development of the sector.
The Agrifest was held under the theme ‘Enriching Neighbourhood, Bettering Our Nation – Grow Smart, Eat Smart with St Bess’. The event showcased the best of the parish’s vibrant and thriving farming sector.