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News for Week of August 22, 2021
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Jamaica wants you to invest in Clarendon mango park

The Agro-Investment Corporation (AIC), an agency of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, is establishing a Mango Agro Park in the Toll Gate area of Clarendon and is seeking investors to participate in the venture.

Chief Executive Officer of the AIC, Dr. Al Powell, said that already 15 applications have been received, including from overseas interests. He said that the necessary infrastructure to facilitate the project, such as roads and irrigation systems, is being developed.

“Once those things are in, the selected entrepreneurs will move in to take up the relevant areas that they have been awarded. It is a business venture,” Dr. Powell said, noting that by middle of next year, the area is expected to be fully planted.

He said that there are ready markets for mangoes in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.


‘We have to ramp up our training programme,’ says agriculture minister

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Floyd Green says the Ministry will be allocating resources to transform the Hounslow Research Station in St. Elizabeth into a centre of excellence for small ruminant production in western Jamaica.

He noted that the facility, which is currently underutilized, “is part of a project that has already been approved by our public infrastructure committee to rehabilitate all our research stations”.

Minister Green said that part of the focus is to enhance training, particularly for young people. “We have to ramp up our training programme. We should be here with students right now training because in order to support a modern ruminant sector, we have to have a cadre of young professionals who are trained in small ruminant management so that they can go out into the field to help our farmers,” he said.

In the meantime, Mr. Green indicated that the Bodles Agricultural Research Station in Old Harbour, St. Catherine, is to be rehabilitated and equipped with modernised training tools for best practices in meat processing, storage and packaging.


Many get business support services, new jobs

A total of 404 local economic initiatives (LEIs) have benefited from business support services provided under the Local Economic Development Support Programme.

This resulted in the generation of jobs for 1,659 persons, inclusive of 189 youth. A total of 840 of these persons gained full-time employment, 542 were employed part-time, while 277 were engaged seasonally.

This is contained in the Planning Institute of Jamaica’s 2020 Economic and Social Survey Jamaica 2020, which was tabled in the House of Representatives recently.

A total of 52 capacity-building sessions were also held with over 398 community members and grassroot entrepreneurs, and 96 civil society organisations/LEIs.

The training covered business idea development, management principles and entrepreneurship, costing and pricing, business registration, social media marketing, product development, financial planning, basic bookkeeping, and packaging and labelling.

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Feed the city
Feed the city

Samantha Charles (left), chief executive officer, VM Foundation, hands over a cheque for $100,000 to Sharron Thompson, campus pastor, Portmore Celebration Church, to support the Feed the City Jamaica Initiative.

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Sagicor Support
Sagicor Support

Fabian Gordon (left), financial adviser with the Sagicor Life, Spanish Town branch, presents a symbolic cheque of $150,000 to Erica McKenzie (right), CEO, Creative Brands & Concepts Limited, to support the organisation’s Live2Lead Youth Scholarship Award programme. Also in photo are this year’s top two scholarship awardees and University of the Technology students Mickalia Huie (second left) and Anishca Ricketts.

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A representative from the Annotto Bay Fire Station shows off her freshly picked JP St Mary’s pineapple alongside JP St Mary’s Assistant Depot Manager Simone Saunderson during a handover of care packages with the vitamin C-rich fruit to the Fire Brigade. The donation by JP St Mary’s is part of an overall initiative to encourage essential workers to eat healthy foods to boost their immune systems.

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Feed the city
Feed the city

Samantha Charles (left), chief executive officer, VM Foundation, hands over a cheque for $100,000 to Sharron Thompson, campus pastor, Portmore Celebration Church, to support the Feed the City Jamaica Initiative.

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Manchester’s Patrick Town Primary gets more classrooms

Teachers and students of Patrick Town Primary and Infant School in Manchester will have the benefit of additional classrooms when the 2021-22 academic year commences in September, following the completion of a new building at the institution.

The facility, which was constructed at a cost of $32 million with financing from the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund, is expected to significantly address the issue of inadequate classroom space at the school.

The institution, previously a stand-alone primary school, incorporated an infant department in 2016 following a rationalisation exercise by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information. This saw several basic schools in proximity to Patrick Town Primary being merged with the institution.

Chairman, Reverend Barrington Bailey, tells JIS News that the rationalisation exercise resulted in the school’s administration reorganising the available space to accommodate new students and teachers.

This undertaking, he points out, included converting the staff and math rooms into classrooms.

“The rooms that were used for grades one and two students were transformed to accommodate the little ones, and that resulted in a change in the overall infrastructure,” Rev. Bailey explains.

The infant department has an enrolment of 29 youngsters, comprising 18 boys and 11 girls, and a staff complement of two trained teachers and a caregiver.

Lawyer is new point man at the United Nations

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, has announced the appointment of Brian Wallace as Jamaica’s new Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Mr. Wallace succeeds Ambassador E. Courtenay Rattray who demitted office in May 2021 to take up an assignment at the United Nations.

A lawyer by profession, Wallace has considerable experience in international, administrative and employment law as well as in national and international legal and administrative systems. He began his legal career in the International Law Division at the Attorney General’s Department and is currently a Director of the private company Manley Wallace and Sons Ltd. His previous roles at the international level include tenures at the United Nations Secretariat in the Office of Administration of Justice and the Department of Management. He also served as a member of the prosecution team on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.



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