Kingston, Jamaica. January 27, 2024: The People’s National Party Shadow Minister of Agriculture Dr. Dayton Campbell is alleging that there is some amount of “hanky Panky” taking place with regard to the distribution of government funded fertilizer across several parishes in western Jamaica.
In a statement today, Dr. Campbell denounced what he said was “the corrupt diversion of fertilizer from the Government’s distribution program, in a vote-buying scheme that misappropriates Jamaican taxpayers’ funds.”
The PNP agriculture spokesman charged that he had information where on Friday night, JLP representatives were seen distributing significant quantities of fertilizer to their political election representatives across multiple divisions in western Jamaica.
Dr. Campbell alleged that bags of government property identified as fertilizer were being delivered from a truck registered to a JLP Member of Parliament to JLP representatives’ properties in several constituencies.
The Shadow Minister of Agriculture, is demanding a comprehensive explanation from the government and Minister of Agriculture Floyd Green regarding this apparent corrupt and partisan attempt to sway the electorate through fertilizer distribution.
Dr Campbell said, “If these bags of fertilizer are indeed from those previously announced by the Agriculture Minister for the most needy and qualified farmers through approved agencies like RADA, concerns arise over why JLP political representatives are receiving government-procured fertilizers by the truckload, especially during night time.”
Emphasizing the urgent need for transparency and accountability, Dr. Dayton Campbell stated, “In a country weary of the JLP’s rampant corruption and nepotism, time come for a government that adheres to ethical standards and does not use the public purse as its private ATM.”
The PNP is calling for an immediate halt to the program and a thorough audit of the related distribution activities.
Nothing of the sort says RADA
However, in a swift response, RADA said it was customary with all production incentive programs, including the distribution of fertilizer, that allocations are made to various stakeholders, including members of parliament (MPs), without bias.
It noted that in November 2023, it allocated 100 bags of fertilizer to each rural MP across the political spectrum.
“This allocation was communicated to all MPs, regardless of their party affiliations, ensuring equal access and treatment for all rural constituencies. It is imperative to note that MPs are responsible for arranging their own transportation for the fertilizer provided, ensuring logistical independence and accountability,” RADA explained in a media release.
RADA also noted that this is the third batch of fertilizer being distributed using the same methodology.
“All previous distributions have been conducted without any controversy, underscoring the efficacy and fairness of our established procedures,” it said.
RADA said it opposes halting the program at this time as the commodities are essential, particularly given the decline in production and recent heavy rains.
“Farmers are eagerly awaiting fertilizers, anticipating a boost in production,” the agency stated.
“We urge all stakeholders and the public at large to disregard any mischief regarding the distribution of fertilizer and reaffirm our unwavering dedication to serving the agricultural interests of Jamaica with utmost professionalism and integrity,”