100 farmers to benefit from $3.6-million project

KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries says some 100 farmers from five parishes across the island will benefit from the distribution of 70,000 vegetable seedlings and fruit trees under the second phase of the Agri Resilience Response to COVID Project.

The ministry said the project, which is being implemented by the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) and funded by United Way of Jamaica, is valued at $3.6 million.

Farmers from Kingston, St Andrew, Clarendon, St Ann and Portland will be able to benefit.

According to the ministry, under the project, the farmers will receive hot pepper, sweet pepper, tomato, cucumber and carrot seedlings.

Fruit trees being distributed will include lime, mango and avocado.

The farmers will receive a cash grant of $30,000 each and will also receive technical support and other inputs such as fertilisers to assist with land preparation.

The ministry said that last month, under the first phase of the project, 20 farmers in the parish of St Catherine received seedlings and fruit trees valued at $600,000.


Addressing the virtual launch of the project today, first vice-president of the JAS, Denton Alvaranga, emphasised the lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It has taught us about the need to diversify our markets and our crops, to increase our capacity for crop storage and the need for processing and adding value to our crops,” he said.

Alvaranga said that the JAS was pleased to be partnering with United Way of Jamaica and expressed gratitude to them for bringing assistance to the 100 farmers.

He also hailed the relationship between the two entities, which have collaborated over the years in times of disaster from as far back as Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

Chief executive officer of United Way of Jamaica, Winsome Wilkins said it was a privilege to be “partnering with farmers to ensure food security for all”.