Small Poultry Farmers Graduate from Training Course


Thirty-two small poultry farmers from various communities in Clarendon have completed a training course to empower them with skills to start income generating projects in their communities.
The group, consisting of 28 women and four men, now known as the Clarendon Association of Small Poultry Growers graduated from the course on June 19 at the Denbigh Show Ground in May Pen, Clarendon.
A grant of some $1 million was provided by the Alcoa Foundation, through JAMALCo, for the 35-hour training course, which was held over an eight-month period. The Foundation also funded the construction of a model poultry house located at Denbigh. The structure will be officially opened at the 2007 Denbigh Agricultural Show.
Additionally, JAMALCo provided $760,000 for the compilation of a procedural poultry farmers’ manual. The manual provides guidelines to various stages of poultry rearing, from site selection to the handling and disposal of waste.
Other contributors were Caribbean Broilers Jamaica Limited, Jamaica Livestock Association, Ministry of Health and the Clarendon Parish Council.
In her remarks, Co-ordinator of the couse, Jannett Pullen, who is also the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) St. Catherine Parish Manager, congratulated the participants for completing the course and urged them to work hard at maintaining good sanitation practices at their chicken units.
“If you can maintain the standard that we have taught you, you are now part owners of the massive poultry industry in Jamaica,” she said. She noted that training would continue with another batch of 32 persons who would graduate in October. She said that members of the Poultry Association meet every Tuesday and that its membership has been growing rapidly.
According to Mrs. Pullen, 50 persons have so far joined the Association since it was formed in September 2006.
Public and Community Relations Administrator at JAMALCo, Pamela White, said the company was happy to sponsor the project and commended the graduates for attending the course.
“We see you as winners and we were happy that you were able to make the sacrifice,” she said, stating that the Alcoa Foundation believed in “lifting and developing people.”
Replying on behalf of the participants, President of the Association and poultry farmer, Maxine Lord, thanked the organizers and sponsors of the project. She said the participants were grateful for the opportunity to attend the training.
“We got good training and we are thankful for it,” Miss Lord said, adding that she has encouraged the graduates to implement the skills they have learnt.
“Don’t hide your skill. This is a skill. No more dead chickens, and if your chicken is sick, you know what to do.If your neighbour’s coop smells, you can tell them what to do,” she said.
Other speakers at the ceremony were Deputy Chief Executive Officer, JAS, Christopher Emanuel and Manager, Corporate Affairs, Caribbean Broilers Group of Companies, Dr. Keith Amiel.

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