- NAMFAMS will be established at a cost of $10 million, to assist farmers with the marketing and sale of their produce.
- The system is being developed under a pilot phase with a grant from the Universal Services Fund.
- Mr. Grant said the Farmers’ Call Centre will utilise an online marketing platform to capture and disseminate information on farmers’ production, market demand and prices.
A National Micro Farmer Agricultural Marketing System (NAMFAMS) will be established at a cost of $10 million, to assist farmers with the marketing and sale of their produce.
The system is being developed under a pilot phase with a grant from the Universal Services Fund (USF), and is being spearheaded by the Jamaica Agricultural Society Commercial Enterprises Limited (JASCEL).
Government Senator and President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Norman Grant, who made the announcement, said an important component of the initiative is the establishment of a Farmers’ Call Centre.
Making his contribution to the State of the Nation Debate in the Senate on March 14, Mr. Grant said the Farmers’ Call Centre will utilise an online marketing platform to capture and disseminate information on farmers’ production, market demand and prices.
“This platform will have the capacity to interface with the farming community, buyers, extension services, government agencies and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector,” he noted.
Mr. Grant said the programme will initially see the registration of 500 farmers as contract farmers, who will produce for the affiliated buyers of the central marketing system.
In the meantime, he informed that the JAS has received a donation of 270 computer systems from the Korean Government, valued at $8.6 million, to be distributed locally.
The computers will be used to enhance the Farmers’ Call Centre by establishing Community Access Point (CAP) sites in each JAS parish office, and in certain designated communities and institutions.
Mr. Grant said the NAMFAMS’ main focus will be on five non-traditional crops for marketing in 2014. These are: red peas, pumpkin, sweet potato, yellow yam, and carrots.
“These will be marketed through specific buyers with whom we will have a formal relationship,” he advised.
Senator Grant informed that the JASCEL has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nations Choice to supply high quality produce to its clientele, which include hotels, supermarkets and high value food stores.
JASCEL is also in talks with Salada Foods to supply 50,000 pounds of Grade Three carrots for 2014.
“We have just made the first delivery to Salada Foods on this order. This is just the beginning, as we are targeting both local and international buyers for these products,” he said.
The JASCEL was established in 1995 to implement and manage projects related to the commercial activities of the JAS.