Jamaican government to provide $70 million in loan funding assistance dairy farmers

The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries - Floyd Green, asserted that the funds are being provided through the Jamaica Dairy Development Board's - JDDB Dairy Concessionary Loan Programme.

Jamaica: The government of Jamaica has decided to provide approximately $70 million in loan funding assistance for the island’s dairy farmers.

The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries – Floyd Green, asserted that the funds are being provided through the Jamaica Dairy Development Board’s – JDDB Dairy Concessionary Loan Programme.

He further added, “Through this financial scheme, farmers can improve the quality of their livestock and increase their herd numbers.”

The Minister shared the information during a ceremony for the hand-over of silage to the – St. Elizabeth Dairy Development Co-operative, held on Friday, July 23, at the Island Dairies farm in Goshen, St. Elizabeth.

The JDDB is undertaking the silaging initiative in collaboration with Island Dairies. The Minister also encouraged the other financial sector stakeholders to design products that farmers can access.

Mr Green further informed that the Ministry has partnered with the National People’s Cooperative Bank of Jamaica Limited, First Heritage Co-operative Credit Union Limited, & Sagicor Bank on the funding facility for dairy farmers.

Mr Green indicated that the Ministry was on a mission to grow the local dairy sector and modernise its operations to enable its contribution to further Jamaica’s development.

Following the statement, the Minister added that “Last year, we rehabilitated about 78.7 acres of pastures, and we established 106 acres of fodder banks, and throughout the fodder conservation programme last year, we produced 224 tons of silage.”

The Minister further stated that “We assured that we had trained 28 farmers, as we are creating an enabling environment for them.” As part of the day’s activities, the Minister also payed a visit to Bogue Hill Dairies in St. Elizabeth.

Officials from the Ministry accompanied him, members of the JDDB, and personnel from the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE), Nutramix and Hi-Pro on the visits. Additionally, there was also a live presentation of the silaging process by an animal nutritionist at Hi-Pro, Khalil Brown.