President of Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), Diane Edwards has suggested the creation of an association for small farmers as one method to aid the rejuvenation of the agricultural sector so that it can effectively improve the economy after COVID-19.
Edwards outlined in an interview that the method ranges from forming a buying association, where farmers can convene and purchase goods in bulk for a reduced unit price, to the creation of exporting associations where they export in groups, as one small farmer would be unable to meet the demands of a sole importer.
The JAMPRO president said the new form of association needs to be observed to create more viable business opportunities for small farmers.
She noted that these aren’t the only viable options, highlighting anchor farming and satellite farming as methods of achieving scale.
The anchor farming system is already being instituted by Caribbean Broilers Jamaica, where an organisation partners with a group of farmers, offering input and resources that is needed, such as chicks and seeds, and the farmers sustain them over a period of time and distribute them to the anchor farms themselves at a later date.
Edwards explained that the system isn’t confined to the broiling industry but can be interwoven into various other sectors.
The president informed that this will be a new venture for many of the local farmers, and the entity has been hosting agro business management forums to better equip them in this transitional period.
Due to the regulations stipulated by the Government as it tackles the novel coronavirus, Edwards said JAMPRO is seeking to have online webinars and meetings.
She said RADA, Agriculture Investment Cooperation, and other participants are a part of the programme.
JAMPRO is a subsidiary under the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries and promotes a diverse range of business opportunities in export and investment to the local and international private sector.
By: Racquel Robinson
Source: Jamaica Observer