Minister Pleased with the Phased Implementation of High Rock Agro Park/Production Zone Pilot Project in the Eastern Districts Grand Cayman Islands.
GEORGE TOWN, GRAND CAYMAN – October 23, 2023.
The Minister of Agriculture, Honourable Johany Jay Ebanks, MP, expressed his utmost satisfaction with the progress made in the phased implementation of the High Rock Agro Park/Production Zone Pilot Project in the Eastern Districts of the Cayman Islands. This project aims to support the implementation of the Cayman Islands Agricultural Land Use License Policy (CI-ALLP) and the Cayman Islands Food and Nutrition Security Policy (CIFNSP), two crucial initiatives of the government.
The High Rock Agro Park/Production Zone Pilot Project will see the outfitting of unused agricultural lands with a new road network, twenty-two plots of land, post-harvesting facilities, sanitary conveniences, and other critical infrastructure to support local agricultural production. This initiative will facilitate better connectivity throughout the agricultural area, provide lands to Caymanian farmers to enhance local food production, and bolster our food and nutrition security.
Wrapping up a successful site visit focused on the progress of the road construction phase by the National Roads Authority, Minister Jay Ebanks emphasized the crucial role of the project in fulfilling the government’s vision of having a more food-secure Cayman Islands:
“The Eastern districts, with their fertile land and potential for agricultural growth, will greatly benefit from the development of this pilot project. It will enable farmers to capitalize on the efficiency of agricultural activities, increase yields, and minimize environmental impacts.”
The Minister expressed his gratitude to all stakeholders involved in the successful planning and design process of the project.
“This project is an excellent example of a whole-of-government approach at work. Several government entities are collaborating on this project, including the Ministry of District Admin and Lands, Department of Lands and Survey, Department of Agriculture, Planning Department, Water Authority, Department of Environment, National Road Authority, Public Works Department, and the Cayman Islands Centre for Business Development. The commitment and cooperation of our stakeholders have been instrumental in ensuring the realization of this phase of this agricultural infrastructure. I am looking forward to this excellent collaboration continuing to bear fruit.”
Numerous endeavours have been made to institute and put into action the Cayman Islands Agricultural Land-use License Policy (CI-ALLP). This policy has received input from various administrations over time. However, the most recent development in this regard is the prioritization of its development and operationalization by the Honourable Jay Ebanks, MP. In parallel, the Cayman Islands Food and Nutrition Security Policy (CIFNSP) (2022-2036) serves as the comprehensive strategic roadmap for advancing and modernizing agriculture throughout the country. It specifically highlights land access as one of the primary challenges confronting the sector.
“We have just named the technical working committee for the High Rock Agro Park/Production Zone Pilot Project. They will formulate a development plan for the park’s operations with a deliverable time for the end of 2023. In 2024, I look forward to the twenty-two plots of lands being allocated to our local farmers,” stated Honourable Johany Jay Ebanks, MP.
The Ministry of Planning, Agriculture, Housing, and Infrastructure remains committed to undertaking further initiatives that strengthen the agricultural sector in the Cayman Islands.
The announcement from the Honourable Johany ‘Jay’ Ebanks, MP, came as a result of a site visit conducted on Friday, October 20, 2023. Accompanying him on the tour from the Ministry of Planning, Agriculture, Housing, and Infrastructure were: Chief Officer, Mr. Eric Bush; Deputy Chief Officer, Mrs. Leyda Nicholson-Makasare; and Senior Policy Advisor, Mr. Demoy Nash. The site visit’s updates were provided by Mr. Edward Howard, Jr., MSCE, Managing Director, National Roads Authority, accompanied by Ellington Forbes, Roads Superintendent, NRA.