JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Farmers registered with the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) now have a greater opportunity to participate in the Government’s overseas farm work programme in the United States and Canada.
  • The Ministry of Labour and Social Security, which administers the Overseas Employment Programme, has partnered with the JAS, which is designated an accredited organization, to select and recommend farmers.
  • The Ministry will facilitate 15 farmers initially, with the figure set to double in 2016.

Farmers registered with the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) now have a greater opportunity to participate in the Government’s overseas farm work programme in the United States and Canada.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security, which administers the Overseas Employment Programme, has partnered with the JAS, which is designated an accredited organization, to select and recommend farmers, aged 21 to 45 years, to participate in the programme, beginning this year.

The Ministry will facilitate 15 farmers initially, with the figure set to double in 2016.

This was stated by  Agriculture, Labour and Social Security Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier, at the 120th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the JAS, held at the Denbigh showground, in Clarendon, on July 8, at which he presented the first 15 application forms to  President of the JAS, Senator Norman Grant,

Twelve of this year’s participants will be selected by the JAS’ parish associations, with the others to be chosen by the National Executive, headed by Senator Grant.

The forms will be issued to candidates for completion and submission to the Ministry within the next two weeks, during which they are slated to be selected.

It is expected that the JAS’ selectees, along with other participants, will depart Jamaica shortly thereafter for farms in Canada and the United States.

On their return, they will share their knowledge gained in agricultural best practices, and technology application, with their colleagues affiliated with the JAS district and parish branches.

Speaking at the AGM, Mr. Kellier said the JAS is “most deserving” of the provision, based on its contribution to the agricultural sector’s overall development, and the “growing need that exists” for best practices and technology transfer.

In this regard, he said farmers who get the opportunity to participate in the overseas farm work programme, will benefit from the exposure to wide-raging farming applications which they, in turn, can pass on to their peers locally.

In an interview with JIS News, Senator Grant expressed gratitude for the Ministry’s gesture, and described the JAS accreditation as a “big game changing” boost for the organization.

“The JAS is very happy to be accredited, and we are going to carefully select the farmers. I hope that they will be successful, and serve as ambassadors, not only for Jamaica and the agricultural sector, but also the Jamaica Agricultural Society and their communities,” he added.

Senator Grant  informed that going forward, the JAS will be pursuing development and implementation of a farmer’s training and certification programme, to complement its designated farm work programme accreditation.