United Way of Jamaica, 3M support small farmers in St Catherine

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The United Way of Jamaica (UWJ) and the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) recently launched the JAS/UWJ COVID Project at the St Catherine Agricultural Branch Societies Annual General Meeting.

The meeting was held on August 12, 2020.

The UWJ said 20 selected farmers within the parish of St Catherine received cash and in-kind inputs of approximately $30,000 each to assist them to establish agricultural ventures.

According to the UWJ, the project will allow the farmers to receive approximately 700 seedlings - ranging from hot peppers, sweet peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots and fruit trees to include lime, mango and avocado - along with chemicals to assist with the preparation of the land.

Winsome Wilkins, CEO of UWJ, stated that the “UWJ is concerned about the financial status of the small farmers and their ability to sustain themselves and their families as we try to navigate the COVID pandemic”.

She said for many people, back-to-school in itself is a challenge and every effort must be made to assist where possible to alleviate some of the challenges being faced. She further lauded partners 3M for making the funds available to support the initiative.

3M has been a longstanding supporter of the work of the UWJ. “The JAS will assist these farmers with the technical support necessary to ensure success from planting to reaping,” commented JAS president Lenworth Fulton.

“We hope that this project will be a success similar to the pig project that was launched over 13 years ago and is still successful and vibrant within the parish,” Fulton said.

The United Way of Jamaica will be providing support to 100 farmers through the JAS branch network.