In 2019, a little over two years ago, Jamaica Observer reported a deal signed between then Colonel of Accompong Maroons Ferron Williams, Minister of Agricutlure Audley Shaw and Timeless Herbal Care. The tripartite deal dubbed a pilot project under the Alternative Development Project is still, however, a bit mysterious to Accompong natives.
The ADP was suppose to be a way to transform original ganja farmers from being illegal producers to them being lawful farmers in a controlled system to promote sustainable economic development and poverty eradication.
“It is a real fear that as that [ganja] industry emerges to become more corporatised, that the original ganja man, the original farmer could very well be left out of the gains and the benefits, when you were the ones singing the praises and the benefits from how long,” Andrew Holness said at an Accompong January 6th celebration.
“This programme is of significant importance to ensure that small farmers, and, in fact, communities like Accompong, where there is certain discipline, a certain order, a certain social system that will ensure that it is not used in illicit ways, will benefit,” said Andrew Holness speaking at the Accompong Maroons’ 281st celebration of the signing of the peace treaty with the British and to commemorate the birthday of legendary leader Cudjoe, on January 6 in the Maroon State of Accompong, Cockpit Country.
Accompong natives for centuries grow ganja for medicinal and economic purposes. It is not a new crop for Maroons, so why hasn’t this project seen the light of day?
Chief of Accompong, Cockpit Country Richard Currie, who was elected seven(7) months ago announced The Accompong Cannabis Trust after taking office.