220 small farmers to take up plots at Holland Bamboo
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, J.C. Hutchinson, says that approximately 220 small farmers will be cultivating plots on the 2,400-acre farm to be established at Holland Estate in St Elizabeth.
Hutchinson, who was speaking in a recent interview with JIS News, said that the property will be officially handed over on Monday, June 3.
He said that acquisition of the property is another step in the Government’s commitment to get lands in the hands of farmers in order to boost agricultural production.
He said that production from the farm will facilitate the reintroduction and strengthening of breakfast and lunch programmes in a number of schools in St Elizabeth.
“What we are looking mainly at is providing fruit juices and breakfast for the children and eliminating the bag juice. Many of the children come to school without breakfast, and we have found that the pilot project that we did some time ago when we had the breakfast programme going, that the attendance increased and the grades of the students also increased,” Hutchinson said.
“So, we are going to be putting that into the schools on a sustainable basis where the children will be able to have a proper breakfast,” he added.
Students at more than 800 schools across the island are provided with breakfast and/or lunch each week under the Government’s national school-feeding programme.