Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Karl Samuda has said that in order to ensure a structured and transparent distribution of funds from the Productivity Incentive Scheme, an allocation will be made to members of parliament for distribution to farmers within their constituency with the largest allocation going to those in rural farming constituencies.
“We have decided that we will not engage in direct distribution of resources to individual groups of farmers, but we will go through the established structures/organisations,” Minister Samuda emphasised. He was addressing farmers at the 122nd Annual General Meeting of the Jamaica Agricultural Society held at the Denbigh Showground in Clarendon on July 12.
In addition, $50m of the $275m allocated to the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) will be for distribution to farmers who need assistance but are not part of any established group.
Funds available through the Production Incentive Scheme have been increased from $200m to $250m.
“We don’t want, nor will we promote PNP farmers. We will not promote JLP farmers, we want Jamaican farmers,” said Samuda, making reference to the controversy that had developed regarding the management and distribution of funds to farmers.
The agriculture minister said it was important to promote agriculture as an essential activity for the development of the country regardless of farmers’ political affiliation. Everyone, he said, must be entitled to the benefits that will flow to persons involved in agriculture on a fair basis with transparency and there was therefore no room for partiality when it comes to the development of the sector.
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