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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Members of the Jamaican diaspora are increasing their contribution to the national growth agenda through Farm Up Jamaica Limited (FUJL).
  • Among the initiatives under the FUJL is the Farmer Assistance programme, which aids in the sustainable cultivation of vacant and underfarmed lands.
  • The FUJL Executive Director said that overseas Jamaicans are excited about the programme and the potential it has for job creation and economic growth.

Members of the Jamaican diaspora are increasing their contribution to the national growth agenda through Farm Up Jamaica Limited (FUJL).

A non-profit organisation, established in 2013, FUJL assists local farmers in the cultivation of organic produce.

The objective is to reduce the importation of conventional, inorganic and genetically modified (GMO) foods; increase the export of organic, niche produce; create numerous green jobs; and revitalise dormant farming communities.

Speaking at a recent JIS Think Tank, Executive Director of FUJL, Neil Curtis, said that the programme is intended to have an impact on the growth of agriculture in Jamaica.

Among the initiatives under the FUJL is the Farmer Assistance programme, which aids in the sustainable cultivation of vacant and underfarmed lands.  Farmers are provided with organic farming technical assistance, equipment, seeds and workforce to grow and harvest crops, and access to the necessary markets.

This programme helps to spread environmentally conscious practices among small holder farmers and students, make nutritious food affordable and easily accessible, create self-reliant, working communities, and bolster local economies.

There is also the Navel String project, which involves partnership with overseas nationals to cultivate their inactive lands.

“We have so many members of the diaspora who have family lands all over Jamaica just sitting there, and they are asking us to go in and farm up this area so that they can get an income from it and make a sustainable contribution to Jamaica,” Mr. Curtis explained.

The FUJL Executive Director said that overseas Jamaicans are excited about the programme and the potential it has for job creation and economic growth.

“We have access to about 50,000 people watching the endeavours of this project, not to mention our over 75 million people that we are tied to through our partners,” he pointed out.

Director of Diaspora and Consular Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ambassador Sharon Saunders, is encouraging other members of the diaspora to get on board.

“This project is in tandem with our desire for economic growth and job creation. More importantly, these jobs are green jobs that will also protect our environment, our health and sustain an entire sector,” she noted.

She said FUJL is a testament to what creativity, hard work and application can achieve to help grow Jamaica.