Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) has created a J$250-million (about 3 million USD) special line of credit for farmers of onion and Irish potato, accessible through the National People's Co-operative Bank network.

    Some 450 to 500 farmers are said to be involved in the sector, but the bank states that the loans, which are priced at 7.0 per cent, will go to those "with a proven track record".

    The credit line fulfils a commitment by Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Robert Montague, who announced at this year's Denbigh show to finance the two crops from a special pool of funds.

    The effort, he said, was expected to cut back on the J$3-billion bill to Jamaica to import the crops, while creating employment in agriculture.