Local farmers are set to benefit from grant funding through the Jamaica Diaspora Agriculture Taskforce (JDAT) Investor Circle, micro farming enterprise social fund.
The initiative will be officially launched at the Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show in Clarendon on August 6.
Speaking with JIS News Chairperson of JDAT, Kimone Gooden said the project’s aim is to create a mechanism for farmers “to be able to ask for a grant, get it quickly, prove that they use the funds appropriately, and get the support that they need.”
She informed that the Investor Circle will be accepting applications for funding at Denbigh.
Ms. Gooden noted that grants are disbursed within 30 days and will be given based on the merit of the application.
She explained that the first instalment will be paid to start the requested project, while the final instalment will be paid after a progress review.
The Jamaica Diaspora Agriculture Taskforce was created for members and organizations in the Diaspora who are passionate about Agriculture.
The Taskforce is committed to combining forces and impacting the sector in the following key ways: supporting the economic viability of the Jamaican farmer through professional development and education targeted to local/export market readiness and expanding the export market; bolstering food security by focusing on projects that will help to reduce the importation of foreign food; and promoting an organic option in Jamaica.
Meanwhile, Co-Chair of JDAT Denise McLaughlin explained that, it was identified that farmers needed further support, adding that the organisation continually receives requests from farmers for assistance.
This, she said, is the basis on which the Investor Circle was formed, adding that the group consists of persons within the Diaspora who have pooled their resources, in an effort to provide the grants.
For his part, President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society, Norman Grant, said that he is looking forward to the launch of the funding project, noting that he was appreciative of the work of the taskforce.
In the meantime, Miss Gooden said that if the investor circle is successful, “we will be looking to replicate it across the other Diaspora taskforces, as collectively we can do so much more.”