#Jamaica, April 30, 2018 – Kingston – The Government has allocated some $300 million towards the Bodles Research Station redevelopment programme. The funds are to be used to expand and upgrade the infrastructure of the facility located in Old Harbour, St. Catherine.
Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, made the disclosure at a signing ceremony for a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Ministry and the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) for the refurbishing of the Bodles Research Station’s seed laboratory and storage facility on April 25, at the Ministry in New Kingston.
Mr. Shaw said the redevelopment works include improvements to security, road network, farm buildings, water supply, irrigation systems, greenhouses, seed and post-harvest facilities.
In addition, the Ministry has collaborated with the Jamaica Dairy Development Board for the rehabilitation of the forage systems and pastures to improve nutrition and productivity of the animals at the facility. Minister Shaw said phase one of the renovations of the existing dairy parlour has already been completed.
Also, the Ministry is aiming to restructure the entire Research and Development Division to attract and retain highly skilled personnel to the research and innovation agenda, particularly in the area of sustainable agriculture, with emphasis on development and production.
Focus will also be placed on the utilisation of diverse genetic material with climate resilient traits; and strengthening of the country’s response and recovery to shocks in the environment such as draught, temperature increase as well as plant and animal diseases.
“We intend to return Bodles to its pride of place and a centre of excellence in agricultural research in the Caribbean,” Mr. Shaw said.