Government allocates $1.25 billion to fix farm roads in Jamaica

The Government will be spending $1.25 billion in the upcoming fiscal year to rehabilitate approximately 80 kilometres (km) of farm roads islandwide.

The Halifax road in Manchester after work was completed under the National Farm Road Rehabilitation Programme.

The money has been allotted in the 2020/21 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.

The project, which is being implemented by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), has the objective to provide improved direct access to an estimated 20,000 farmers islandwide for the “farms to market” transportation of farm produce, while also catering to the commute for general workers and the surrounding communities.

Specifically, the overall project should rehabilitate approximately 420 km of rural roads across 98 extension areas in 13 parishes, cause an estimated three per cent increase in production, provide employment in the repair/rehabilitation phase to rural farm families, and benefit registered farmers in the medium to long term, as well as attract new entrants to the agricultural subsector.

Up to December 2019, under the project, 115 km of farm roads have been rehabilitated across 13 parishes.

Funded by the Government of Jamaica, the project, which began in April 2017, is scheduled to end in March 2022.