More than 200 small farmers to get lands at Holland Estate
The days of agricultural produce being left in the field to spoil may soon become a thing of the past in St Elizabeth.
De factor Agriculture Minister J.C. Hutchinson said that an agro-economic zone being established at Holland Estate in St Elizabeth will play a central role to reduce food waste in Jamaica.
"You find that many people come and buy your produce, but they take off the A-grade ones, and the 'B' and 'C' grades are left on the ground to spoil. So, you farmers are losing a lot of money, because those are going to waste, and that could be used," Hutchinson said.
"So, what we are looking at in St Bess, come next year, we are going to be having the first agro-economic zone. At that complex, the 'A' grade is going to go to the hotels and export markets, the 'B' grade goes to the local market, and the 'C' grade is going to be processed into puree and juice," he added.
Hutchison was speaking at the St Elizabeth Homecoming Foundation Limited's Homecoming Week 2019 Awards Brunch at Lover's Leap, in the parish, on Sunday. He said that the agro-economic zone will be established on a 2,400-acre property, which will comprise farms as well as packaging and processing facilities.
The minister said that some 220 small farmers will be cultivating plots at Holland Estate, and each farmer will get up to 20 acres of land to grow various types of cash crops that will also feed into the revitalisation process of the School Breakfast Programme in St Elizabeth.
"I want to say to the small famers of St Elizabeth, keep on doing what you are doing. You are the ones who are leading this economy. You are the ones who are providing growth in this economy, and so I say to you, we all together will make it work," Huchinson said.