JAMAICA: New agro-parks to focus on banana farming

Minister of Agriculture, Labour and Social Security, Derrick Kellier, says the Government intends to explore financing for new agro-parks in Western Jamaica.


The proposed locations for the agro-parks are located in Shettlewood (Hanover); Sunderland (Trelawny); Enfield (Westmoreland) and Seven Rivers (St James).


To date over $611 million has been invested in infrastructure, irrigation, roads and packing facilities at the New Forest/Duff House agro-park on the border of St Elizabeth and Manchester Kellier said.


Some 234 farmers have been employed at the park and 204,273 kilograms of produce valued at $8 million, including pineapples, vegetables and peppers, have been reaped.


The minister was speaking at a Jamaica House press briefing in Montego Bay on on Thursday, the minister said that in collaboration with the European Union (EU)-funded Jamaica Banana Accompanying Measures Programme, the Government intends to pursue a new thrust to revitalise the banana sector through the proposed agro-parks at Seven Rivers and Sunderland, to target the export banana trade.


Meanwhile, he informed that at Meylersfield in Westmoreland, some $40.8 million is being invested to establish an ackee and callaloo canning facility.


He also reported that 813 metres of roadway were rehabilitated and 1,290 feet of electrical pole lines installed.


“Upon completion of the infrastructure works, this agro-park will purchase ackee and callaloo from farmers in the Westmoreland and Hanover areas,” Kellier noted.


Source: Jamaica Observer

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