Fri | Oct 20, 2017

Agro parks project to be expanded

Published:Thursday | March 31, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Photo by Rudranath Fraser Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda (right), exchanges greetings with Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Donovan Stanberry, during the opening ceremony for the annual St. Mary Agri-Expo
Photo by Rudranath Fraser Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Karl Samuda, displays a box of locally produced cassava pancake mix, while addressing the St Mary Agri-Expo on March 28, at the Gray’s Inn Sports Complex in Annotto Bay.
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JIS:

The agro parks project is being expanded with some 3,000 acres of irrigated lands at Ebony Park and Spring Plain in Clarendon to be available for production shortly.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Karl Samuda, made the disclosure while addressing the St Mary Agri-Expo held at the Gray's Inn Complex in Annotto Bay on March 28. He informed that some $190 million will be spent to expand the project in Portland and St Elizabeth. Samuda also announced measures to assist farmers with irrigation water, informing that funds have been identified for the completion of the Essex Valley water system in St Elizabeth. He said the Ministry is also looking into the possibility of building irrigation ponds to supply productive areas of St Mary.

The Agri-Expo was organised by the St Mary Association of Jamaica Agricultural Society Branch Societies and showcased the best in agriculture, agro-processing, horticultural exhibits, and livestock production in the parish.

The annual Easter Monday event, held under the theme: 'Empowering Women and Youth through Agriculture', also highlighted the innovations of farmers and the work of students in agriculture. Samuda, in commending the high-quality displays, said the Government will be intensifying efforts to get more local agri-products into the overseas markets.

"I have seen items that don't belong only in the booths that I have visited, they belong on the world stage and my effort will be spent to get you on the world stage," he said. Samuda noted the success of agriculture is critical to the economic prosperity of Jamaica.

"Agriculture must be the foundation of our development strategy," he said, while urging young people to look to the sector as a viable career option.