A significant portion of the Greater Bernard Lodge Development project in St Catherine is available for agricultural projects, says Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
He points out that the Government is increasing agricultural leases, with new subdivisions for rental concessions to relocated farmers, and “equipping them with state-of-the-art technology”.
Holness was delivering the keynote address at the ceremony to break ground for Sagicor’s J$8-billion Portmore Promenade, in the Greater Benard Lodge area of St Catherine, on February 7.
“This commitment to agriculture will not only support our farmers, but also ensure food security for our growing community,” the prime minister said.
He explained that when the development plan for the area was conceptualised, his administration ensured that it included provisions for both agricultural and other projects.
“We will have not only traditional agriculture but also modern and industrial types of agriculture being developed. You are going to have a very rounded development in Bernard Lodge, in a big way, and we want to see more technology infused in agriculture. We want to encourage more high-tech farming in the area,” the prime minister said.
Holness noted that infrastructural upgrades for the area include water, electricity, sewerage and road systems, which will “further enhance” the quality of life in the community, “making it more accessible and sustainable”.
“We are also making it a priority for the relocation and formalisation of farmers, and informal settlers. The Greater Bernard Lodge project aspires to create an ideal community where residents can enjoy a high standard of living, sound environmental management, and affordable quality of housing, thereby fostering sustainable economic growth and development,” the prime minister said.
Key objectives under Vision 2030 Jamaica include the “development of a modern, efficient farming system; implement development plans for key traditional and non-traditional sub-sectors; strengthen agricultural marketing structures and linkages with other sectors; and expand agricultural training”.
Vision 2030 Jamaica is the country’s first long-term National Development Plan, enabling Jamaica to achieve developed-country status by 2030. It is based on a comprehensive vision: “Jamaica, the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.”