In an effort to boost tourism, Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett presented farmers with 50 650-gallon water tanks in an effort to help them boost food production.
The Ministry of Tourism, through the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), will spend $10 million on the provision of approximately 350 water storage tanks that are being distributed to farmers in the parishes of St. Elizabeth, St. James, St. Ann, and now Trelawny, with St. Thomas, Portland and Westmoreland to follow.
Bartlett addressed South Trelawny farmers on September 2 and emphasized that with the farmers producing a wide range of food crops, fruits and vegetables, Trelawny was one of the bread baskets of Jamaica.
Bartlett added that visitors love Jamaican food and he wants farmers to reap more from the 42 percent expenditure by Jamaica’s four million tourists on food. According to Bartlett, fruits and vegetables alone constituted J$350 billion of demand in tourism, “and we’ve only been able to supply 20 percent of that,” he said.
“Trelawny as a parish is going to, perhaps, become the most touristic parish in the entire country,” said Bartlett.
He added that “because people come to eat, to drink, and to be entertained, it is our food, our drink, and our entertainment that must be provided for them to consume. I am tired of hearing and seeing the big containers come in with all kinds of foodstuff and so on; we want to make the car, the trucks, the pickup, the van, and the trailer move from South Trelawny down into Falmouth and into Duncans Bay and into Montego Bay and all over the place supplying the food that the hotels require that the tourists eat.”
To further help Trelawny tourism are 700 new rooms being completed by Riu in Falmouth, Harmony Cove as well as the expansion and development of more tourism facilities and attractions, which are awaiting approval by the Trelawny Municipal Corporation.
In addition, the Tourism Ministry had developed a three-pronged policy for enhancing small and medium businesses in tourism, including education and training as well as providing funding support for innovation and marketing.