Toronto, February 27, 2017– Fifteen small farmers recently completed a one month intensive residential training program at the Source Farm and Eco Village in St. Thomas from January 22, 2017 to February 17, 2017. Five of those farmers were recipients of scholarships from The Jamaican Diaspora Agriculture Taskforce (JDAT). The training program was designed to enhance the farmers’ skillset in organic farming and Permaculture and to give small farmers the capacity to produce and sell top quality organic produce in Jamaica.
“The Task Force is happy to continue to support the development of an Organic Farming Market in Jamaica” stated Jamaica Diaspora Agriculture Task Force Convener, Kimone Gooden. The Taskforce plans to provide continuous support to these farmers by way of tools, inputs, mentorship, access to markets and further resources to ensure they become successful organic farmers, and contributors to a robust agricultural economy in Jamaica.
Over the month-long , One One Coco program, farmers learned through workshops, combined with lectures, readings, and assignments geared to building competence in organic farming, as well as Permaculture principles and practices. Additionally, Farmers were taught farm management and planning, entrepreneurial skills and decision-making. As well as hands-on training, they were required to start and complete a small farm plot demonstrating the knowledge and skills gained from the course. The program will continue to grow with another group of farmers in August and On the Farm organic coaching starting in May.
The JDAT was established after the 6th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference in 2015 for individuals and organizations in the Jamaican diaspora and Jamaica to combine forces and make a positive impact on Jamaica’s agricultural sector. It is committed to promoting and accelerating organic and sustainable farming practices, bolstering food security and creating new markets for Jamaican farmers.