President of the People’s National Party (PNP) Dr. Peter Phillips said a government under his leadership would reward the Clarendon Northern constituency for its loyalty, adding that the rewards would include development of infrastructure such as the currently deplorable road network.
“North Clarendon has remained committed and loyal to the People’s National Party, and I want to say to you as party leader that the People’s National Party that I lead will have a special obligation and commitment to the people of North Clarendon because loyalty…” Dr. Phillips said during the party’s constituency conference last evening, November 10, inside a packed room at Kellits High School.
The constituency has been represented in Parliament for six terms by Member of Parliament Horace Dalley of the PNP.
Phillips, while endorsing Dalley, said: “There are roads up here that have been promised for years – like Brandon Hill, Arthur Seat… All those roads have been on the programme for years. Time come, and I give the commitment that a PNP administration will deliver to North Clarendon.”
He noted that a bad road network is bad for farming, which happens to be the lifeblood of the economy in Kellits. “When you look at North Clarendon – the farmers, it nuh mek sense yuh have crop and yuh can’t get out the crop. It nuh mek sense yuh order things and the trailer can’t come to where yuh want sell di things,” Dr. Phillips said.
The development of roads is one element of a major rural development strategy being devised by the PNP.
Dr. Phillips said the other elements include the supply of piped water, the most massive land titling programme in Jamaica’s history, incentives for people who want to invest in rural areas such as Clarendon Northern, and a special support programme for small farmers.
Dr Phillips noted that, over the years, successive governments have not done enough for small farmers.
“The small farmers have not gotten adequate support. Small farmers must be able to sell their products not just to town or to market, but to foreign too. We need to be providing the assistance in what to plant, how to plant it, how to get the products to market, and alongside that we need to have in place the processing.”
Dr. Phillips further told the gathering: “The worse of the economic adjustment has passed. Time come now to be creative, and we are going to put in incentives to bring investments into the rural communities and the rural areas – whether people want to set up special economic zone for BPO, or whether it is that you want to put up a processing plant so that you can make sweet potato chips or breadfruit chips in a rural area so it can be marketed. That is what we are going to do – a rural economic development incentive.”
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