JIS News

The success of the Jamaica Pride Project was extolled at a dissemination event held in Mango Valley, St. Mary, on Friday (December 4).
The project, which has run from November 2008 to December 2009, is funded by the European Union (EU) Banana Support Programme Rural Diversification and Enterprise Programme.
Jamaica Pride is a collaboration between Coventry University in the United Kingdom, the Jamaica Organic Agriculture Movement, the Jamaica Network of Rural Women Producers and the Mango Valley Visionaries Friendly Society.
The aim of the project is to develop a strategy to integrate agricultural production, preferably organic, agro-tourism and the production and marketing of value added agricultural products.
Giving an overview, Project Leader and Professor in the Faculty of Business, Environment and Society at Coventry University, Professor Phil Harris, said that the strategic partnership between the UK and Jamaican organisations has brought value added to the project.
Declaring that the Jamaica Pride Project is particularly aimed at engaging rural women in the design and implementation of strategies for local needs, he said the project has focussed its activities in the areas of agro production, agro processing and agro tourism.
He also noted that the project has collaborated with the Jamaica Organic Agriculture Movement to provide training and technical assistance in organic farming and research, in addition to providing advice on the potential organic market and certification of organic products.
Observing that the Mango Valley Visionaries Friendly Society had started to generate income from agro processing activities, even before the advent of the Jamaica Pride Project, Professor Harris said that income generation was realised from agro processing through a line of products, including jams and local delicacies such as guava cheese, otaheiti apple balls and jerk seasoning.
He went on to point out that Jamaica Pride has sought to extend the lessons learnt to other groups and to other communities, helping them with small projects which contribute to the overall aim of the European Union Programme.
Professor Harris thanked the Jamaica Pride team consultants and the United Kingdom for the support they have given to the project, and expressed gratitude to the people of Mango Valley for the warm welcome, hard work and kind hospitality they have provided.

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