22 Farm Roads To Be Rehabilitated - Surrey Paving & Aggregate Co. Ltd.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller (second left), makes a symbolic presentation of a signed contract to Contractor and Director of Surrey Pavements, Mr. Leslie Chang (right), following the signing of seven contracts for the rehabilitation of farm roads across 10 parishes, under Phase Two of the National Farm Road Rehabilitation Programme, by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, valued at $182 million. Others (from left) are: Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Derrick Kellier , and State Minister, Hon. Luther Buchanan. The ceremony was held at the Office of the Prime Minister on Tuesday, February 2.

 

 

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, through its National Farm Road Rehabilitation Programme, Tuesday, February 2, signed seven contracts valued at some $182 million for the rehabilitation of 22 farm roads in 10 parishes.

The contracts, which forms phase two of the programme, are for roads in Portland, St James, Hanover, St. Mary, Clarendon, St. Thomas, St. Ann, St. Catherine, Westmoreland and Trelawny.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, in an address at the signing ceremony at Jamaica House, said the focus on farm roads is critical to the Government’s commitment to rural development.

 

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, through its National Farm Road Rehabilitation Programme, Tuesday, February 2, signed seven contracts valued at some $182 million for the rehabilitation of 22 farm roads in 10 parishes.

The contracts, which forms phase two of the programme, are for roads in Portland, St James, Hanover, St. Mary, Clarendon, St. Thomas, St. Ann, St. Catherine, Westmoreland and Trelawny.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, in an address at the signing ceremony at Jamaica House, said the focus on farm roads is critical to the Government’s commitment to rural development.

“Through this programme, we are providing existing farmers with adequate road access from their farms and to markets. We are helping our farmers to make their farming activities more profitable,” she said.

Mrs. Simpson Miller said the programme will positively address the state of farm roads and contribute to sustainable and viable agricultural activity, and will include the resurfacing and patching of roadways, as well as the cleaning, construction and improvement of drainage, among other maintenance and improvement work.

“We are committed to assisting our farmers in raising their standard of living and improving their lives. At the same time, the improvement to farm roads across Jamaica will encourage new farmers to enter and expand the agricultural sector. Employment for Jamaicans in rural communities will also be increased,” she said.

She further noted that under the National Farm Road Rehabilitation Programme, the Government is seeking to provide direct benefits for more than 11,500 farmers. She added that 220,000 farmers are expected to be impacted through the programme in the medium to long term.

Under the first phase of the programme, $94.7 million was invested in the rehabilitation of seven roads in farming communities in Manchester, St. Thomas, St. Andrew, St. James and St. Elizabeth. Phase three will cover roads in all parishes, except Kingston. With a total planned investment of  $1.2 billion, 41 priority roads are to be repaired by completion of the programme.

To date, the Government has approved $500 million in funding for the programme.

“Farm roads are important to the livelihood and wellbeing of farmers, their families and farming communities. They are a vital element in the ongoing expansion of the agricultural sector. Farm roads are, therefore, important in the national effort to achieve higher levels of economic growth and job creation,” the Prime Minister said.

Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Derrick Kellier, said the Ministry, through the National Farm Road Rehabilitation Programme, is taking a comprehensive and coordinated approach to the rehabilitation and maintenance of farm roads.

“I have an abiding faith in the agricultural sector and its contribution to national development. Indeed, the growth and transformation of this industry is a national project behind which the whole country must rally,” he said.

For his part, State Minister, Hon. Luther Buchanan, who holds ministerial oversight for the Rural Development Taskforce (RDT), under which the National Farm Road Rehabilitation Programme falls, said this initiative is only one of several strategies for rural development.

He said the RDT has, since its development, convened several meetings with key stakeholders to guide the formulation of a rural development policy. He said it is expected that consultations with the parish councils and community groups will be held in a few months, after which a final draft for the policy will be presented to Cabinet in September.