JIS News

The Old Harbour Development Area Committee on Wednesday (Nov. 27), staged its annual exposition at the Portmore Community College campus in Old Harbour, St. Catherine, to showcase how residents could make a living from the creative use of local, everyday produce.
The expo was held under the theme: ‘Enhancing economic activity through creative use of agro resources,’ and featured an array of craft items, culinary treats and agro-products. The Jamaica 4-H Clubs showcased a range of items including wines, cheeses, liqueurs and preserves made from local fruits such as guava and orange. The Rural Agricultural Development Agency (RADA), had a similar array, exhibiting the various delicious products, which can be had from ordinary, everyday foods such as cassava and banana, once a little creativity is employed.
First Vice President of OHDAC, Randy Finnikin, said that the event was largely geared at encouraging participants to create an economic base for themselves through the use of locally derived products.
“Each year, we put on the OLDHAC Expo, which is a culmination of our year’s activity. This year, we thought that given the economic issues and realities around, we wanted to look at how we could use the resources available to us locally, to stimulate economic activity in the development area,” he informed, noting that RADA, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Education, were partners in the process.
Mr. Finnikin told JIS News, that in preparation for the expo, several community-based entities benefitted from training in small business development. They were then invited to exhibit their best products at the event.
A business incubator will hereafter be established, he informed, to provide these persons with the assistance necessary to expand their fledgling businesses. “We are hoping that this year, we will in fact stimulate this kind of energy. From here, we are hoping that no less than five of these small businesses will expand into employing four, five or 10 persons in the near future, so that’s our emphasis this year,” he said.
Avril Gordon, a participant involved in the making of pastry, drops, gizzadas and other culinary delights, told JIS News, she started her small business approximately four years ago. She recently acquired HEART Level 1 certification in food preparation and feels that the time is right to “raise the bar, as the sky is the limit in food preparation and marketing quality products.”
The Old Harbour Area Development Committee, has been around for the past eight years and is active in co-ordinating the orderly development of the Old Harbour Development Area, which comprises a number of communities.

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