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Roger Clarke to face questions over agro-parks

Published:Monday | January 6, 2014 | 2:00 PM

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

The Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke will this afternoon attempt to address concerns raised in the Auditor General's report about the practices of the Agri-Investment Corporation and its management of the agro-parks.

The Agri-Investment Corporation has been established to oversee Jamaica's agricultural assets including the agricultural parks which the Government is hoping to spur economic growth.

The Agriculture and Fisheries Minister has called a press conference for 3 o'clock.

In its 2013 annual report, the Auditor General’s Department said it identified a general lack of strategy towards the fulfilment of Agri-Investment Corporation’s mandate.

The corporation was also cited in the report for making more than $202 million in unapproved payments.

There was also the issue involving a former employee being a signatory to the corporation’s accounts despite the employment contract ending in February 2009.

According to the audit report, during the period July 2009 to November 2011, the individual was a signatory to 91 cheques valuing $112 million drawn on the account of the Agricultural Support Services Productive Projects Fund Limited.

The individual also signed documents authorising the encashment of approximately $57 million from the company’s fixed deposit account during the period March 2009 to November 2011.


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