JIS News

An Information Fair will be held for banana workers, who have been laid off due to the closure of Eastern Banana Estates in St. Thomas, on October 30, at the Golden Grove Community Centre, starting at 10:00 a.m.Some 460 banana workers are expected to be paid their redundancy cheques the following day, Friday, October 31.
The fair is the first in a series of initiatives, aimed at sharing information with displaced banana workers, on how to access funding for income generating projects through the European Union (EU), and providing them with information on the existing EU Banana Support Project. It is organised by the Rural Diversification Programme, one of the components of the EU Banana Diversification Programme.
Manager of the Rural Diversification Programme, Leslie Grant, told JIS News that representatives of several financial institutions would be at the fair to offer advice to the workers on how to manage the redundancy payments.
Additionally, he said that workers would be able to gather information on training and job opportunities at relevant agencies, and how they could “continue with life after Eastern Banana.”
He said that topics such as money management and investment would also be discussed at the fair, and that counselling sessions would be held to assist workers to adapt to the recent changes.
“The fair is really to see how we can work with this group and to provide them with whatever opportunities are available,” Mr. Grant explained.
Some of the agencies participating in the event include the Social Development Commission (SDC), Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Jamaica 4-H Clubs and Credit Unions. Representatives of agencies that have been awarded grants under the EU Banana Support Programme will also take part in the event.