In­te­grated ru­ral devel­op­ment ap­proach to ad­dress prob­lems

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

MEM­BER OF PAR­LIA­MENT: Zavia Mayne CON­STITUENCY: St Ann South West­ern FIRST-TIME MEM­BER of Par­lia­ment (MP) Zavia Mayne, in his maiden par­lia­men­tary speech, sought to weave a story of how some ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties in Ja­maica have been ne­glected for decades, sti­fling their devel­op­ment while en­cour­ag­ing per­sis­tent poverty.

“No baddy nuh memba we roun a dis yah side yah sah,” he quoted one of his St Ann South West­ern con­stituents as say­ing.

The lack of ac­cess to potable wa­ter and cap­i­tal, com­pe­ti­tion for lands by min­ers and farm­ers, non­farm­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, lim­ited ed­u­ca­tion and govern­ment in­vest­ment, he said, have locked the con­stituency into “in­ter­gen­er­a­tional poverty and un­der­de­vel­op­ment”.

Ac­cord­ing to Mayne, the ap­proach to ad­dress the prob­lems is through an ‘in­te­grated ru­ral devel­op­ment ap­proach’ put for­ward by the In­ter­na­tional Fund for Agri­cul­tural Devel­op­ment. That would take in the par­tic­i­pa­tion of stake­hold­ers in im­prov­ing hu­man and phys­i­cal as­sets, ac­cess to credit, and an in­crease in the knowl­edge base, among other things.

The trained lawyer out­lined a seven-point plan he said is aimed at help­ing to bring about change.

That plan in­cludes the es­tab­lish­ment of an ed­u­ca­tion coun­cil of stake­hold­ers to co­or­di­nate al­lo­ca­tion of re­sources, an agri­cul­tural re­search sta­tion and steps to­wards a hous­ing scheme. He said a lobby has been launched for an ac­ci­dent and emer­gency depart­ment at the Alexan­dria Com­mu­nity Hospi­tal, while pro­grammes are be­ing pur­sued to deal with gen­der-base vi­o­lence.

“We can­not solve the devel­op­ment chal­lenges of Ja­maica with­out full in­clu­sion of ru­ral devel­op­ment. Crime, over­crowd­ing, ur­ban un­em­ploy­ment are all wors­ened by poverty in ru­ral ar­eas,” he said. “A sus­tain­able, in­te­grated course of ac­tion will see us re­duc­ing in­come in­equal­ity, im­prove liv­ing con­di­tions and foster self-ac­tu­al­i­sa­tion. We must have no more for­got­ten cor­ners of Ja­maica.”

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