JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Jamaica’s participation in the global nutraceutical industry and the country’s job creation effort was given a boost on October 22, 2015 when 31 young Jamaicans were presented with certification as nutraceutical farmers.
  • Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Phillip Paulwell, who represented Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, said that the training exercise was designed as a way of advancing Jamaica’s participation in the US$600 billion global nutraceutical industry.
  • The participants ages 18-35 were selected on the basis that they have a background or education in agriculture, an interest in nutraceutical crops, were unemployed and have access to land.

Jamaica’s participation in the global nutraceutical industry and the country’s job creation effort was given a boost on October 22, 2015 when 31 young Jamaicans were presented with certification as nutraceutical farmers.

Speaking at the graduation exercise held at the Jamaica House Banquet Hall, Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Phillip Paulwell, who represented Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, said that the training exercise was designed as a way of advancing Jamaica’s participation in the US$600 billion global nutraceutical industry.

Minister Paulwell who is also vice chairman for the National Commission on Science and Technology (NCST) added that, “the training programme developed by the Bio Technology Centre at the University of the West Indies Mona, the Scientific Research Council (SRC) and the Jamaican 4 H Clubs, embraces the cultural science, traditional knowledge and technology surrounding Jamaica’s healing plants and waters”.

He noted that “the programme is designed to train more than one thousand 4-H Club across the island and has the capacity to become a major player in Jamaica’s economy. Industry experts have determined that Jamaica has more fifty two percent of the worldwide established medical plants.”

The participants ages 18-35 were selected on the basis that they have a background or education in agriculture, an interest in nutraceutical crops, were unemployed and have access to land.

Executive Director of the Jamaica 4H clubs Dr. Ronald Blake said that the programme was conducted over a two week period and the participants were engaged in training at both the 4H Clubs training facility in Rose Hall, Linstead, St. Catherine and the SRC in Kingston.

One graduate of the Young Nutraceutical Farmers training programme, Miss Petrova Kenwood explained that in two weeks the participants were trained in plant and tissue culture production, laboratory skills, extraction of essential oils, food safety systems, good agricultural practices, value chain management and entrepreneurship.

She also added that the programme was intense but the trainees were placed in a better position to become entrepreneurs and create jobs because of the training they received.