Jamaica News: A total of 540 farmers in the Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company (JISCO)/Alpart operating areas of St. Elizabeth have benefited from vouchers valued at $2.7 million to purchase farm inputs.
The support was provided under the company’s Agricultural Stimulus Programme.
The vouchers, valued at $5,000 each, are redeemable at various farm stores in the parish, and enable the farmers to acquire seeds, fertilisers, chemicals, farming tools, baby chicks, animal feed and medication.
Public Relations Officer at JISCO/Apart, Jermaine Saunders, told JIS News that the farmers are grateful for the support that is being provided at the beginning of the planting season.
He said that the objective is to increase agricultural production in the parish.
“So far, most persons have already cashed their vouchers and are very appreciative. A lot more persons have been asking if this is a programme that we can expand. So overall, most persons appreciate the gesture,” Mr. Saunders said.
The Agricultural Stimulus Programme, which is in its second year, involves partnership with the Alpart Community Council and its business unit, Essex Valley Community and Associates (EVC).
Farmers from 44 communities in St. Elizabeth that are a part of the community council received support. Ten vouchers were provided per community, up from five last year. Presentations were also made to executive members of the council.
Vouchers will be handed over to farmers in Manchester on April 25.
JISCO/Alpart also supports the Rose Hill Water Harvesting Project, which benefits 19 greenhouse farmers in South Manchester. The project involves partnership with the Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI) and the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF).
Source: JIS News