The developer of the Lakes Pen Integrated Agriculture Project, Gassan Azan, says the benefit of the project to Jamaica lies in the processing plants that will help to reduce wastage in the sector.

The agriculture project was announced yesterday.

It will see an initial $11-billion invested in 400 acres of land in Lakes Pen, St. Catherine.

Mr. Azan says the investment project will help the country to extend the shelf life of the agricultural products through what he calls one step processing.

Mr. Azan says the project is expected to grow around 17-thousand tonnes of food.

The country currently imports 40-thousand tonnes of food at a cost of almost a billion US dollars.

He says the aim is to partner with small farmers to meet the local need.

Gassan Azan, Developer of the Lakes Pen Integrated Agriculture Project. He was speaking yesterday with Cliff Hughes and Tyrone Reid on Nationwide @ 5.

He’s also the founder of the Megamart Wholesale Club.

Mr. Azan says the project aims to grow mangoes, ackees, okra, tomatoes and lettuce.

He says plans are in place to start a second phase in parishes like Manchester.