Seven ornamental fish farmers in August Town, St. Andrew, were today (September 8), presented with farm systems to start their businesses.
Ornamental fish farmers, Rowe Archibald (right) and Rohan Miles (centre) converse with Regional Manager, Hardware and Lumber, Dean Clarke during the handing over of ornamental fish systems to residents of August Town at the home of one of the recipients in Kingston on Wednesday (September 8).
Each system was installed using bath tubs donated by GraceKennedy, through Hardware and Lumber. Over 300 tubs were donated for the initiative.
The goal of the project is to create wealth for people in inner-city communities of Kingston and St. Andrew, by promoting economic opportunities through ornamental fish farming and actively develop the sector to become more competitive.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony at the Haven of Hope Open Bible Church in August Town, Project Manager for the Urban Value Chain Initiative at the Competitiveness Company, Mr. Nicardo Neil, said the donation would benefit several farmers in communities across the Corporate Area.
“In total, there are 26 persons who receive the donation of bath tubs. Each person got 12, which is equivalent to six vats, which is the usual container used for fish farming. They also got piping and fixtures to set it up,” he said, noting that the participants’ contribution include attending training, buying the pumps, and participating in the installation of the farms.
Research Fellow, Institute of Criminal Justice and Security, University of the West Indies, Horace Levy, addressing the handing over ceremony of ornamental fish systems to residents of August Town, at the Haven of Hope Open Bible Church, Kingston on Wednesday (September 8).
He informed that the total cost of setting up the system, without the pumps, was $40,000 per farmer, adding that the pump would cost $35,000.
Research Fellow, Institute of Criminal Justice and Security, University of the West Indies, Mr. Horace Levy said that initiatives such as these, which promote the creation of job opportunities, “are tremendous.”
“We have to create the work that we need for ourselves. We have to be creative and set up our own businesses and we have to take initiatives and do for ourselves what the business people and production units, which exist already, cannot do for us right now. Things are slowing down and if we want to live, we have to create the means,” he said.
An ornamental fish farmer, Kenneth Wilson, said that the system seeks to provide sustainable means of employment solutions within the community.
Project Manager for the Urban Value Chain Initiative at the Competitiveness Company, Nicardo Neil, speaking with JIS News during the handing over ceremony of ornamental fish systems to residents of August Town at the Haven of Hope Open Bible Church, Kingston, on Wednesday (September 8).
“It is our responsibility, here in August Town, to ensure that this dream bear fruits. We will endeavour to grow this project.to ensure that at the end of the day, the sort of prosperity that we seek will materialise,” he said, thanking all the stakeholders for their contribution.
Participants in the August Town community who completed training by the Ministry of Agriculture, received ornamental fish systems, technical advice and piping, while providing labour and financing to purchase the water pump.
The project forms part of the ‘Building a Bridge’ project, which is a wealth creation initiative being implemented by the Jamaica Exporters’ Association, the Competitiveness Company and the Area Youth Foundation.
The overall objective of the project is to develop and catalyse a sustainable, export driven ornamental fish farming sector in Jamaica, that links urban farmers in at-risk communities to a global market, through an effective value chain.
Other communities which will participate in the imitative include Duhaney Park, Grants Pen and Parade Gardens in the Corporate Area.