Following on the heels of a recently successful launch and a stakeholders’ sensitisation public forum of the JSIF-REDI II project, key partners have now joined forces to endorse the initiative as well as to encourage potential agriculture and tourism enterprises islandwide to respond to the Call For Business Proposals which is now open until Wednesday, November 25, 2020 at 4:00 pm. The Call For Business Proposals will enable prospective applicants to be eligible for matching grant support to enhance the growth and development of their businesses.
The Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), an agency of the Ministry of Tourism is among the key partners which will be facilitating the distribution of application forms from their offices. According to Acting Executive Director, Stephen Edwards “The Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) welcomes the REDI II project and is prepared to assist community tourism enterprises (CTEs) in enhancing their offerings and building resilient businesses. This will help to improve livelihoods and diversify our tourism product with authentic and sustainable enterprises. Interested CTEs are encouraged to capitalise on this lucrative opportunity. The REDI II application forms can be obtained from the TPDCo offices, at our Head Office in Kingston or our Regional Offices in Ocho Rios, Falmouth, Montego Bay, Negril and Mandeville.”
The project is also targeting the agriculture sector and the Rural Agricutural Development Authority (RADA) will be the lead agency of the Ministry of Agricuture and Fisheries which will be partnering with the JSIF to support potential groups within the various rural communities. Executive Director for RADA, Peter Thompson for his part, indicated that “As the the leading agency for agricultural development, the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) endorses the JSIF-REDI II inititative for the Call For Business Proposals to all potential agricultural enterprises across Jamaica. This project is quite viable, as it provides a great opportunity for farmers to expand their production by building sustainable agro-businesses infrastructure. We therefore, urge our farmers including those practicing climate smart agriculture technologies to take advantage of this venture. All eligible persons may contact our RADA regional offices for the JSIF-REDI II application forms.”
In clarifying the eligibility for targeted groups, the JSIF-REDI II Project Manager, Kemeisha Batchan underscored the importance of the key criteria for applicants. “ Some of the main criteria include: applications must be submitted by an agriculture or tourism group that is organized with its management and governance structure including having the requisite legal registration in place. Additionally, applications from private companies may be eligible for matching grant support under the project, if the project demonstrates strong collaboration between communities and the private company such as; value-added enterprises, aggregators (large purveyors) and tour operators. Proof of 5% to 60% counterpart cash contribution by way of bank statement, market demand is clearly identified and evidenced by a letter of intent and or contracts and group experience engaged in similar businesses; the project should also have the potential to enhance climate resilience and sufficient youth and women composition at 30% and 40% respectively. Most importantly, if the project involves infrastructure development, the group should submit a copy of the land title or lease agreement.”
The second JSIF-REDI II project is a project of the Government of Jamaica being implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund and funded through a loan agreement by The World Bank. The project will last for a period of five (5) years.