Agriculture minister hands over development plan in Trelawny

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

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ST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) — Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Karl Samuda, says there is still vast potential for more growth in the parish of Trelawny, where agriculture can play a major role.

Speaking at the handover of the Trelawny Sustainable Development Plan recently in the capital, Falmouth, Samuda said that it is within that context that the plan is absolutely necessary.

He noted that this is one of the six plans funded by the Sugar Transformation Unit (STU) in sugar-dependent parishes.

“The ministry sees itself as an important stakeholder in this parish, recognising, of course, that Trelawny is one of the sugar-dependent parishes in which we operate and is home to over 75,558 persons, a large portion of whom are farmers,” the minister said.

Samuda said approximately $746 million has been spent by the STU in Trelawny on 51 projects, including construction of 39 houses for 97 sugar workers, construction of library facilities, and rehabilitation of 14.55 kilometres of cane roads.

“Over 86 residents received skills training in plumbing, housekeeping, commercial food preparation and data operations,” the minister added.

He further noted that the Trelawny Development Plan will also seek to address issues such as inadequate sewage disposal and lack of water.

For his part, Minister of Local Government and Community Development, who also spoke at the ceremony, said his ministry will be assisting with the construction of a new Falmouth market at a cost of $15 million.

"Falmouth is a traditional marketplace, and not just for people in Falmouth. So, it is our responsibility to do the things that are necessary to support persons who are making an honest living,” he said.

In the meantime, Chairman of the Falmouth Municipal Corporation and Mayor, Councillor Colin Gager, who accepted the plan from Samuda, said a new market is being created that is expected to run seven days a week. “Therefore, we are building shops that persons will be able to operate non-stop”.

"We will be designing a cashless system. So, everybody who is going down to that market to peddle their wares will have a card to swipe at the entrance gate. If you swipe and there isn't any money, then no entrance," he emphasised.

"Furthermore, with the 700 new stalls for bend-down market, 90 new shop spaces for the food market, the installation of cameras and the employment of trained security guards, the cost to vendors will be upwards of $500 per week. It cannot be a market with a fee of $200," Mayor Gager added.

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