December 1, 2011 | 2:16 pm | Print
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The European Union-funded EU Food Facility in Jamaica has recently completed, and the EU is urging the programme’s beneficiaries to build upon its success.
The $7.8 million plan sought to improve agricultural productivity and increase the income of vulnerable households in Jamaica, according to Helen Jenkinson, the head of the Economic and Social Development Division of the European Union.
“You are a country that has got a lot of land still unused,” she said. “I know a lot of it is mountainous and it’s not necessarily easy to make the best of, but even your coffee bushes, your cocoa trees, and bananas, you can use an awful lot of land on this island.”
Jenkinson said it made sense for Jamaicans to produce food to support themselves, which would improve small farmers’ incomes and the country’s general self-sufficiency.
“To me, it’s self-evident,” she said. “This is a route that, even if it’s hard work, it’s something Jamaica needs to do and to stick at.”
The plan was implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization.
Agriculture Minister Robert Montague said the EUFF had “really opened the door for us to move into replacing” the nearly $800 million Jamaica spends each year on food imports, calling it a “well-executed and a well-deserved” programme.
Yesterday, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said the country’s agricultural sector would see continued growth as part of careful planning by the government.
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