Three farming groups, which benefited under the Organization of American States (OAS)-funded Rural Youth Capacity Building and Business Development Project (YOUCAB), were on June 14, 2012 presented with equipment as a contribution to the development of their business ventures.
The presentation, made at the closing ceremony for the project at the Scientific Research Council’s (SRC) Hope Gardens offices, comprised stainless steel table, commercial blender, impulse sealer, scale, pH meters, refractometers, thermometers and chlorine test kits. They also received production formulation and product manuals.
Beneficiary groups are: Barada Farms, St. Thomas; Golden Grove Youth Society, Trelawny; and the South Manchester Group, Manchester.
The SRC was the executing agency for the project, that got underway in 2010, and which sought to build the capacity of rural youth involved in agro-processing enterprises.
SRC Executive Director, Dr. Chadwick Anderson, said YOUCAB has provided valuable technical information and assistance to the project beneficiaries, which they could not have otherwise afforded.
“It has also afforded the SRC and other stakeholders many valuable experiences in taking technologies to the rural communities and individuals in Jamaica that need them for sustainable livelihood options,” Dr. Anderson said.
Director General of the OAS’ Jamaica Office, Dr. Joan Neil, said the project provided an opportunity to share with young people, the knowhow and the expertise of business and how these can be applied “in a combination that will provide a winnable product”.
“What is going to be the biggest challenge at the end of the day, is how you are going to apply the knowledge you have gained, with all of the heartbreaks and trials, and rising above that to ensure that you can take a highly successful product to market and that you can do so in a continuous production mode,” Dr. Neil said.
Under the programme, a total of 50-70 beneficiaries were trained in the elements of good manufacturing practices; business development; food processing; product development; packaging, labelling, marketing and sales.
By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter