Minister without Portfolio in the Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson (centre), cuts a ribbon to symbolically open Marl Road in St. Elizabeth on December 19. Mr. Hutchinson is joined by Member of Parliament for North East St. Elizabeth Evon Redman (left) and Chief Executive Officer, Rural Agricultural Development Authority, Peter Thompson. The road opening is part of the National Farm Road Rehabilitation Programme, established by the Ministry and implemented by the RADA for the rehabilitation of roadways so that farmers and marketers have easy access to purchase and transport produce.
A deadline of mid-January 2020 has been set for requests to be submitted for repairs of farm roads.
The announcement was made by Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson, at the opening of two farm roads, Marl Road in Balaclava and the other in Castleton, St. Elizabeth on December 19.
The introduction of the requirement for submission of requests forms is among the measures being undertaken to ensure accountability and transparency in the rehabilitation of roadways under the National Farm Road Rehabilitation Programme implemented by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).
“Anybody who wants a road to be fixed must send in that request by the middle of January. It can be a farming group, it can be any association, benevolent society, anybody,” he said.
“They need to send it in to the RADA Parish Manager,” Mr. Hutchinson said.
Mr. Hutchinson’s call coincides with a similar one issued at a recently held quarterly press briefing at the Ministry’s Hope Gardens’ offices for farmers to put their requests in writing.
Mr. Hutchinson added that submissions to the parish manager will then be made to the RADA Parish Advisory Board for a determination on which roads will be repaired.
“They will see which roads (lead to more productive areas) and can go forward. Those requests will go to the National Board, who will vet them. A memorandum of understanding will then be inked with the municipal corporation in each parish for road scoping works to be done. All roads must have drains and culverts where necessary,” he said.
The Minister without Portfolio emphasised that a tight deadline will be adhered to with the entire process from procurement, to the granting of contracts for completion of road repairs by the end of August 2020.
“Roads are taking too long to be done now (and) we want to get them done as soon as possible,” he said.
In his remarks, RADA Chief Executive Officer, Peter Thompson noted that with the repairs done to the roads, the communities would benefit significantly in the generation of increased farm produce.
“We (RADA) believe that our efforts will help with increasing the output of agriculture. When you see access being created with these roads, it is evident that farmers will be ready to increase their production because of the free movement being facilitated,” he said.
President of the Marketing Organisation Lovelette Longmore in her remarks expressed gratitude to RADA for the repair of Marl Road, which has been in a deplorable condition for years.
Welcome to the official website of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries.
The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF) has been charged with the responsibility of driving the integration of the production of primary agricultural produce along all the stages of the supply chain through to value added and facilitating full commercialization of outputs of the agriculture, manufacturing, and service sectors.
We have, therefore, placed much energy and enthusiasm into the development of this website to provide timely information on the Ministry, our agencies and programmes.
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