Speaking this morning during the launch of the Rural Economic Development Initiative Phase 2 (REDI II), Prime Minister Holness said during his first term the country achieved significant growth in several areas. He says now the Government is aiming to improve its prospects.
“This term now, we have to shift our focus to the micro-economics of growth dealing with how the markets actually operate signaling on incentives and get people to go into the areas that are productive and that will bring the necessary economic returns. So the REDI II programme is very important in that regard but another element of the Government’s thrust which we have put together this time is rural development,” said Prime Minister Holness.
Holness further stated: “In our last term we spent a lot of time trying to change the mindset of the public sector towards a growth posture meaning let us improve the ease of doing business for the private sector but there are many complexities like social complexities. I believe that there is now an improved posture of the public sector towards enabling and assisting and facilitating the private sector to be able to have the factors of production work seamlessly together.”
In that regard, the Holness said the launch of the REDI II programme, is “a catalyst for tremendous growth” in the economy through linkages between agriculture and tourism targeting women, the youth and persons with disabilities.
According to Holness the Government’s objective is to unlock the economic potential of agriculture through rural development.
“In this term we must start to see real growth , we are seeing the sprouts – little shoots but now they have to grow and bear fruit and Minister Floyd Green has been given a task to really drive agriculture, modernize agriculture, to bring entrepreneurism to agriculture and to make agriculture a strong growth driver for Jamaica,” said the Prime Minister.
REDI II is a Government led initiative being executed by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) in partnership with the World Bank.
The programme is financed through a US$40 million dollar special loan through the World Bank.
REDI II is aimed at enhancing access to markets and to climate resilient approaches for targeted beneficiaries.
Some of the benefits of the initiative include;
- enhanced agriculture and tourism linkages
- optimized rural agriculture production
- direct Integration of Youth (targeted marketing, employment as active participants, technical support)