Students prepare His Excellency Masanori Nakano, Ambassador of Japan, for a shampoo during a tour of the Crooked River Skills Training Centre in Clarendon on Friday, August 11. Others from left are Stefano Cilli, Attache Programme Manager, Delegation of the European Union to Jamaica; Keleen Young-Grandison, Manager of the Sugar Transformation Unit; and Donovan Stanberry, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Donovan Stanberry, has said that agriculture is critical to rural development. He was speaking at an appreciation function held at the Crooked River Skills Training Centre in Clarendon on Friday, August 12.
Noting the migration of people from rural areas to urban centres, the Permanent Secretary said that Jamaica needs a renewed emphasis on rural development and emphasised that economic development, without addressing the social imperative of the people in the community is unsustainable
“We believe that agriculture must be a catalyst and stand at the centre of rural development,” said Stanberry. He said the Ministry was proud to be investing in training as this is what is going to make a critical difference in the advancement of the country.
The Crooked River Skills Training Centre was rehabilitated through funding provided by the Japanese Embassy, and the European Union through the Ministry’s Sugar Transformation Programme (STP), which contributed $7m for the procurement of material and equipment for training in barbering, cosmetology, bartending and apiculture.
Over 160 persons in the Worthy Park Sugar Dependent Area have been certified in vocational skills since 2014 and an additional 83 persons are currently enrolled in training with the HEART Trust/NTA. Also, nine persons will benefit from grants totalling $8.7m to establish businesses in areas such as apiculture poultry production, beauty salon and farming.
In addition, some $246m is being spent to rehabilitate 26km of cane roads to include Brandon Hill to Cargill Road, Brandon Hill to Wedge Hill in Clarendon and Lluidas Vale to Juan De Bolas in St. Catherine.
Also, over $88m was spent under the STP on social projects at schools and libraries and rural electrification as well as the upgrading of community centres such as Crofts Hill, Lluidas Vale and Knollis.
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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.
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