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News In Brief - KSAC seeks to regulate feeding of the homeless

Published:Saturday | September 27, 2014 | 9:00 AM
Mayor of Kingston, Angela Brown Burke
  • KSAC seeks to regulate feeding of the homeless

The Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) is refuting reports that it has placed a ban on the feeding of homeless persons on the streets. The corporation says it is only seeking to regularise and coordinate the work of the groups that have caring programmes for these persons.

According to mayor of Kingston, Angela Brown Burke, the KSAC recently met with stakeholders following concerns from persons about the activities of the homeless, and while several recommendations were accepted, no ban was placed on persons being fed on the streets.

Brown Burke said several homeless persons were examined by professionals and placed at the Bellevue Hospital. She informed that there was also an agreement to promote the use of all the feeding centres which are operated by churches and civic organisations, "where if you are feeding people, you can establish a schedule".

The mayor said that although those who feed the homeless have good intentions, if the activity is not managed it can become part of the problem that the KSAC is seeking to rectify.

  • Pig farmers hailed for creating self-sufficient pork industry

Chief technical director in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dermon Spence, has lauded local pig farmers for creating a "self-sufficient pork industry".

Spence, who was speaking at the 12th annual general meeting of the Jamaica Pig Farmers Association (JPFA), held on Thursday, at the Golf View Hotel in Mandeville, said Jamaica produces nearly 10 million kilograms of pork annually, which is more than enough to satisfy local consumption.

He noted that this independence from importing pork and pork products, exemplifies, in several ways, the goal of the Government to achieve food and nutrition security.

"We are seeking to ensure sustainable food security and the aim is to attain self-sufficiency in many areas. We are now looking at that in Irish potato and several other crops coming on stream, and the plan is to target the expansion of the export sector, once we have satisfied the local market," Spence said.

He noted that having successfully increased production to sustainable levels, the pork industry can now lead the way in terms of expansion into export markets and diversification of product lines.

  • Portland has lowest murder rate

Portland is the country's safest parish, with the lowest murder rate at 10 per 100,000 population, the latest crime statistics have revealed.

The figures, for the period January 1 to September 20, were announced by National Security Minister Peter Bunting on Thursday, at the annual general meeting of the Realtors Association of Jamaica, held at the New Kingston Business Centre.

St Thomas follows closely with 15 murders per 100,000; St Elizabeth, 16; Manchester, 18; St Ann, 21; St Mary 26; Trelawny, 30; Westmoreland 34, and Clarendon, 35.

This is followed by St Catherine at 41 per 100,000 population; Kingston and St Andrew at 44; Hanover at 52; and St James, with a rate of 77 per 100,000 population.

Bunting said the rates for parishes such as Portland, St Thomas, St Elizabeth and Manchester fall well below the average rate for the Caribbean.

"So (if you're) living in Manchester (for example), you're not exposed to a higher average crime rate than if you lived in the rest of the Caribbean," he said.

  • Jamaica must consolidate economic gains, says Professor Wint

Member of the National Partnership Council, Professor Alvin Wint, says Jamaica must consolidate the successes made so far on the economic front and in other areas.

"I think it is important that we seize this moment. We have had a long period where we have not performed as well as we ought to ... although there have been important successes in Jamaica, we now need to consolidate those successes," Professor Wint said.

He made the comment at a consultation on the Jamaica Partnership Agreement held on Wednesday, at the Anglican Church Hall, Morant Bay, St Thomas.

The first-ever signing of the social partnership agreement in Jamaica took place on July 31, 2013, among the Government, private sector, trade union and civil society groups, at King's House.

Under the agreement, the groups reaffirm and recommit to the principles of social dialogue and partnership; and resolve to embark on a programme for Jamaica's stabilisation, growth with equity and sustainable development, through a social partnership, initially over the period 2013-2016.