What is an Agro Park?
An Agro Park is an area of intensive, contiguous, parcel of land for agricultural production which seeks to integrate all facets of the agricultural value chain from pre-production to production, post harvesting and marketing. These activities are being executed by the Agro-invest Corporation within the framework of a tripartite partnership involving the Government, the farmers/investors and other entities. The following are features of agro-parks :
- The requisite infrastructure and facilities
- An environment that supports integrated, sustainable agricultural production, processing and logistics
- Processes are integrated along a value chain in a deliberate way
- Partnerships involving Government, farmers/investors and marketing organisations
Agro-Parks are being strategically implemented across Jamaica to facilitate the following:
- Promotion of public private partnership investments
- Promote efficiency in resource allocation and utilization – thus reduction in costs
- Improved economies of scale – e.g. in the procurement of goods and services
- Improved market access
- Promote and encourage sustainability
- Create long term and seasonal employment
- Create focal points for agricultural development
Of the total of 9 agro parks targeted, 7 are currently being implemented. The other two agro parks will be implemented in the Financial Year 2014/2015.
National Irrigation Commission Limited’s contribution to Agro Parks
The National Irrigation Commission Limited’s planning, design and installation teams have provided services in the development of the irrigation component of the agro parks. During the year 2013/2014, the main activities for the agro parks included:
- Completion of field layout plans and GIS mapping at Spring Plain/Ebony Park and Plantain Garden River;
- Development of irrigation designs for Hill Run, Spring Plain and Plantain Garden River (PGR) ago parks;
- Installation of irrigation systems at PGR
- Irrigation and drainage rehabilitation of Meylersfield system;
- Farmer training and on farm irrigation systems installation and operation at Yallahs and New Forest ago parks.
The Yallahs and New Forest/Duff House agro parks were established in irrigation schemes previously developed by the National Irrigation Commission Limited under the National Irrigation Development Programme funded by the Inter-American Development Bank.
For the 2015/2016 financial year, the National Irrigation Commission Limited expects to continue its partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and its agencies to enhance the development and operation of this important national initiative.
Figure 1: Area Targeted, Leased and Production data as at January 2015
|Agro Park||Hectares Targeted||Hectares Leased||Hectares in Prod.as at 11/1/2015||Production (kg)as at 11/1/2015|
|Plantain Garden River (PGR)||117||117||19||143,235|
|Hill Run (Fish)||121||Private||96||28,500|
|New Forest/Duff House||356||Private||263||188,591|
|Unity Farms / Nonsuch||640||0||0||0|
Source: Agro-invest Corporation