Holness Administration Holds Record for Most Houses Built

Already, he says, the current Administration which he leads holds the strongest record in housing. The National Housing Trust is on track to build 22,000 homes by the end of this financial year, the most housing solutions built by a single Administration. Prime Minister Andrew Holness has declared that the Government is committed to solving the country’s housing and land settlement issues.Already, he says, the current Administration which he leads holds the strongest record in housing.The National Housing Trust is on track to build 22,000 homes by the end of this financial year, the most housing solutions built by a single Administration.The Prime Minister made the comments on Friday (August 9) during his keynote address at the ground-breaking ceremony at Rhyne Park Estate in St. James.“The NHT is now on track to build 22,000 housing solutions by the end of this financial year, the most that have ever been built by any administration in any term. The HAJ that was an agency that was on my chopping block one of the Agencies that was plagued by corruption, I said we can’t have this agency. Dr. Horace Chang, then Minister without portfolio with that Ministry, pleaded with me and said, we can turn in around, and that agency has been turned around. It has been moved from a loss-making agency to with bad audit reports to an agency that is about to make a surplus. More than that they have now started to deliver housing solutions at the price point that people can afford,” said Prime Minister Holness.In that regard, the Prime Minister underscored that in less than a decade the Government will be able to solve the housing and settlement problems in Jamaica.The Prime Minister stated that this can be done through increasing the housing construction to realise five to ten thousand houses per year in planned communities.According to the Prime Minister, the Government has made it easier for individuals to own their own home in Jamaica with affordable prices and easy access to financing.“What this government has done with its emphasis on housing, with its emphasis on building, with its emphasis on creating sustainable communities that will retain value for the people who invest in them so that they can pass on that value to the next generation, is to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty through the development of housing and community,” said Prime Minister Holness.In the meantime, Prime Minister Holness emphasized that the Government is doing more than just talk and communicating, its ensuring achievements and delivering on its commitment to the people.“What we try to do as a Government is, first of all, make sure that we present to you the information that is necessary for you as the citizen to make a decision to form an opinion. So, I have always said to my Ministers it is important to communicate. But…, as a Government, we don’t celebrate announcements. So, you are not going to hear me make announcements of things to come in a celebratory way. You will see this kind of set up when it is happening,” said Prime Minister Holness.The Prime Minister asserted that the Government has implemented good policies as seen in the provision of good, quality affordable housing solutions.A mixture of 754 one to three-bedroom townhouses, apartment, and single-family units are being built by the Housing Agency of Jamaica at Rhyne Park Estate in St. James. The project will be completed in three years. Story Highlights Prime Minister Andrew Holness has declared that the Government is committed to solving the country’s housing and land settlement issues. read more

Minister Shaw Welcomes Breadfruit Publication

Story Highlights A publication on breadfruit is being hailed by Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw, as a useful resource in increasing production of the tree crop as Jamaica looks to further reduce its food-import bill.The ‘Breadfruit Germplasm Collection’ written by Professor Laura B. Roberts-Nkrumah of the Faculty of Food and Agriculture at the University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine Campus, was officially launched on Tuesday (September 3), at the UWI Mona Campus.It highlights the diverse characteristics of breadfruit and select cultivars, and is a valuable resource for Ministries of Agriculture in the tropics, agricultural-related organisations and institutions and individuals.Minister Shaw, in his remarks at the launch, noted that some 226 years ago after Captain Bligh brought breadfruit to the islands, information of the tree crop remains sparse, contributing to it being an underutilised crop.“It is pretty ironic that breadfruit was, in fact, first introduced in Jamaica and the Caribbean against the background of a shortage of imported foodstuff, as well as the shortage of locally grown food crops, as a result of the impact of both hurricanes and droughts, which destroyed those crops,” he noted.“The breadfruit was introduced as a staple, but was not embraced by the population. These days, we face somewhat similar issues of a high food-import bill and, of course, the negative impact of drought and hurricanes on our food supply,” Mr Shaw added.He noted that the breadfruit and other locally grown tree crops are part of the solution to these perennial challenges.“What this publication does for us is to legitimise the growing recognition of the value and vast potential of the breadfruit. Nutritionally, breadfruit is now being classified as a super food, and as outlined in the introduction to this publication, it is a source of nutrients ranging from protein, essential amino acids, carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and minerals,” Mr. Shaw said.Meanwhile, Professor Roberts-Nkrumah noted that the book is a basic tool “that we must have if we are going to embark on any annual (breadfruit) industry”.For further information on the book, persons can contact the UWI Press at (876) 977-2659, 702-4081/2 or email [email protected] A publication on breadfruit is being hailed by Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Audley Shaw, as a useful resource in increasing production of the tree crop as Jamaica looks to further reduce its food-import bill. The ‘Breadfruit Germplasm Collection’ written by Professor Laura B. Roberts-Nkrumah of the Faculty of Food and Agriculture at the University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine Campus, was officially launched on Tuesday (September 3), at the UWI Mona Campus. It highlights the diverse characteristics of breadfruit and select cultivars, and is a valuable resource for Ministries of Agriculture in the tropics, agricultural-related organisations and institutions and individuals. read more

Just Over Three Million Visitors Since January

This, he notes, includes approximately 1.9 million stopover visitors and just over one million cruise-ship passengers. Story Highlights Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says Jamaica has welcomed just over three million visitors since the start of the year. Additionally, the Minister said the resulting earnings are up 10.2 per cent, and on course to surpass the projected year-end target of US$3.7 billion. Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says Jamaica has welcomed just over three million visitors since the start of the year.This, he notes, includes approximately 1.9 million stopover visitors and just over one million cruise-ship passengers.Additionally, the Minister said the resulting earnings are up 10.2 per cent, and on course to surpass the projected year-end target of US$3.7 billion.He was speaking at a media briefing held at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices on Tuesday (October 1).Mr. Bartlett said the out-turn for stopover arrivals represents an increase of 150,000 or some 8.6 per cent over the corresponding period in 2018, describing this as a “really impressive performance”.He said the out-turns put Jamaica “firmly on track to meet and exceed our end of year targets… notwithstanding the fallout from cruise ship arrivals”.“We [also believe we] will still be able to make our targets, insofar as the ‘5x5x5’ key performance indicators (KPIs) that we have established are concerned,” the Minister added.The Ministry’s 5x5x5 growth agenda aims to attract five million tourists by 2021; generate US$5 billion in earnings; increase total direct jobs to 125,000 and add 15,000 hotel rooms.Meanwhile, Mr. Bartlett advised that he will be flying to Canada to join Tourism Director, Donovan White, and other Ministry and Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) team members for the start of the JTB’s marketing campaign in that North American country.Noting that Canada has been Jamaica’s second largest source market with an average of 400,000 visitors, Mr. Bartlett said the JTB has crafted a “very strong marketing programme” to retrieve some of the recent fallout in arrivals and “set the Canadian market back on track”.Additionally, he said the move forms part of efforts to “create the resilience that our industry needs to ensure that our growth projection for 2020 into 2021 is secured”.“It is important that that growth is maintained. So, we will be meeting with all our partners over the three days that we will be there… our airline partners, our tour operators, our travel agents,” the Minister said.Mr. Bartlett also advised that the team will be meeting with members of the Jamaican diaspora, whom he described as “a big part of our market”.“They are our marketers. It is our diaspora that represents the first point of contact between potential visitors to Jamaica and Jamaica. So, it is critical that they are fully aligned in terms of the marketing programme that we have,” he added. read more