Gov’t gets US$4m loan for second Rural Economic Development Initiative
Minister of Finance Dr Nigel Clarke, and World Bank Director for the Caribbean, Tahseen Sayed signed the loan agreementAlso pictured is Resident Representative for Jamaica and Guyana, Latin America and the Caribbean Region, Ozan Sevimli.
The Government of Jamaica (GOJ) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) have signed a US$40 million loan agreement to start the Second Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI II) Project.
This project will build on the experience and the results of the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI I) and will focus on strengthening value chains and the development of tourism clusters.
“The second phase of the Rural Development Initiative, REDI II, signals GOJ’s commitment to ensuring all Jamaicans have opportunities for sustainable economic livelihoods. REDI II will build resilience among Jamaicans living in rural areas who are engaged in entrepreneurial activities in agriculture and community tourism,”said Dr Nigel Clarke, Minister of Finance and the Public Service.
The initiative also aims to strengthen the capacity of relevant public sector institutions to provide the requisite infrastructure and services needed to improve the efficiency and climate resilience and deepen the linkages of targeted agri-food and tourism value chains, the finance minister said.
REDI II’s primary objective is to enhance access to markets and to develop climate-resilient strategies for targeted beneficiaries.
These targeted beneficiaries are rural micro, small and medium-sized enterprises that are connected to the agricultural, community tourism sectors and the relevant public sector institutions and partner entities.
The project is segmented into four components which comprise Climate-Resilient Agricultural and Community Tourism Investments for Rural Enterprises, Institutional Strengthening and Capacity Building for Public Entities, Project Management, Monitoring, and Evaluation, and Contingent Emergency Response.
Projects supporting the agricultural sector can take various forms including the introduction of new crop varieties adapted to climate-related changes; counter-seasonal production methods and technologies; and strengthening infrastructure such as cold storage facilities, shed, packing and sanitary facilities.
In the community tourism sector, projects can include the development of new or expansion of existing tourism experiences, for example, eco-hiking trails, culinary expertise or mineral baths) and the development of gastro-tourism activities and promotion.
“The World Bank is delighted to support the continuation of the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI 2), a project that will provide additional income opportunities for poor rural households—with a focus on youth and women.”, said Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Director for the Caribbean.
REDII will provide support for up to 200 Rural Enterprises from across the country for a period of six years. The continued partnership between the GOJ and IBRD solidifies the World Bank’s ongoing support of the GOJ’s growth and development objectives.