Minister with responsibility for Agriculture, JC Hutchinson, is denying wrongdoing in a land deal involving Holland Producers Limited, a company part-owned by the mother of his child.
Mr. Hutchinson is also Member of Parliament for North West St. Elizabeth, where the property is located.
The 1,400 acre property is owned by the Sugar Company of Jamaica, SCJ.
Marjorie Gordon reports.
Mr. Hutchinson admits to writing to the SCJ recommending that the land be turned over to Holland Producers immediately.
However, he says he made the recommendation in order to prevent squatting, as well as destruction by animals roaming on land.
He says it didn’t matter to him which company was awarded the right to use the property.
The Minister says he was also not aware of his common law wife, Lola Marshall Williams’ involvement with Holland Producers Limited.
Nor was he aware that his son had registered a farm store business to operate on the property, on the same day that the Holland Producers was incorporated.
He’s insisting that there was no nepotism and no conflict of interest in making the recommendation for Holland Producers to occupy the land.
He says the farmers from the area came together and decided that a company should be formed, and selected Williams as one of the directors.
He says despite him making the recommendation, it was the SCJ that should’ve decided whether to put the contract to tender.
Marjorie Gordon for Nationwide News.
Meanwhile, Minister Hutchinson is admitting that he should’ve asked for an exemption from Parliament.
However, he also says he doesn’t see the need to resign from Cabinet.
JC Hutchinson, Minister with responsibility for Agriculture. He was speaking on Nationwide This Morning with Abka Fitz Henley and Danielle Archer.