Gov't to spend record amount on agriculture

March 23, 2023

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Mar 22, CMC – The Jamaica government is making its largest ever capital investment in agriculture with more than J$12 billion to be spent across the fiscal years 2022/23 and 2023/24.

Finance and Public Service Minister, Dr.  Nigel Clarke, winding up the budget debate, said provision is earmarked to build out irrigation, pumps, piping, storage and farm road infrastructure in St. Catherine, Clarendon, and St. Elizabeth.

He said this is being done through the Essex Valley and Southern Plains Agricultural Development Projects.

“This will deliver high or value-added agriculture opportunities,” Clarke told legislators noting that the government is working on improving Jamaica’s logistics regime through the development of the Caymanas Economic Zone, which will attract investors in this area and, in the process, generate higher-paying jobs.

Clarke also disclosed that the Ministry of Tourism is working assiduously to diversify the tourism product.

“We are working to introduce higher-end integrated resorts, which require higher value-added, higher paying jobs,” he said, adding that the government is about to issue the first licence for an integrated resort development.

An integrated resort development must have a minimum of 1,000 hotel rooms, of which 500 must be luxury rooms. Additionally, the development must have a minimum capital investment of US$500 million.

The concept was introduced by the government in consideration of further expanding the tourism product.

These luxury resort developments include, but are not limited to, hotels, villas, sporting and recreational facilities, shopping centres and casino gaming.

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