Get schools back into farming - Azan
The Mocho Greenhouse and White Shop Agro-Biz projects, which were officially handed over last Wednesday, are expected to boost economic development in the communities.
The White Shop Agro Biz is located in Spaulding, Clarendon, and involves 15 farmers. It has expanded its reach, supplying local hotels with produce, while the Mocho Green House - which is located in a 'deep hole' from the mined-out pit - has a surface water reservoir which will be used for irrigation purposes.
The project is a collaboration with the local government ministry, the Canadian government and a team from Mocho.
In his address during the handover ceremony held in Mocho, Clarendon, Noel Arscott, minister of local and community development, said he is trying to change the culture of the parish councils.
"We are trying to focus not only on social welfare, but economic development. This is one of the outcomes of that plan, and will be a template for other mining communities in Jamaica," he said. According to the minister, local economic development is the way to go.
Meanwhile, Member of Parliament Richard Azan had high praises for the projects, pointing out "anything that can allow us to feed ourselves is important".
"We need to get the schools involved back in school gardening. We should produce some of the things for ourselves," he said.
Kelly Thompson, first secretary (Development) High Commission of Canada lauded the team for the work carried out to make the green houses a reality.
"The goal of Canada's Caribbean programme is to promote a more prosperous and integrated Caribbean Community able to generate economic growth and provide employment and security to its citizens," she said.
business-friendly environments environments
Canada's current flagship local government project, the Caribbean Local Economic Development project, is being implemented by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, in close collaboration with ministries of local governments and municipalities across the Caribbean.
"This six-year CAD$20 million project has been designed to develop business-friendly environments by enhancing the capacity of local authorities to lead and support economic growth strategies. Not surprisingly, given the country's dominance in the region, the project's biggest footprint is found in Jamaica, where the project is working to improve governance issues and economic development in six parishes, of which Clarendon is a stellar example," she shared.