SHARING THE LOVE: Mount Olivet Tablet Drive
Five-minute feature on acts of kindness by local or overseas based non-government individuals and organisations that have benefitted Jamaicans.
Written and produced by the Radio Department of the Jamaica Information Service
News for Week of March 26, 2023
We are here to inspire, motivate and uplift.
Hill wants businesses to prioritise training
According to Senator Aubyn Hill, Minister of Industry, Investment, and Commerce, Jamaican businesses need to "step up to the plate" and make sure that more locals are trained.
“We have 300,000 to 400,000 young people, mainly young men. We need to train them, and Jamaican companies need to step up,” he emphasized.
Senator Hill maintained that “if you don’t train them [and] you don’t look after them”, this could have potential implications.
He was speaking at the official launch of the first on-site Business Accelerator Centre (BAC) of the Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority (JSEZA) at Kingston Wharves Limited.
The removal of fees for many HEART Trust courses, announced by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, according to Minister Hill, is an example of how the Government is "repurposing [and] spending a lot of money" to promote training among citizens.
“As I do everything to make business work in Jamaica, [and] as I make sure consumers are protected, I’m saying to businesses – train a lot more,” he stressed.
While praising the JSEZA for creating the BAC, Minister Hill also welcomed the investment made in Jamaica's export sector.
Increase in banana, plantain output
The production of bananas and plantains increased by 2.8% and 18.7%, respectively, in 2022, making it a very successful year for the sector. The sector recovered to produce more than 72,000 metric tonnes of bananas and more than 60,000 metric tonnes of plantains in 2022 despite the effects of Tropical Storms Grace and Ida in 2021.
According to Janet Conie, General Manager of the Banana Board, last year's plantain production was the biggest in a long time. “It all had to do with the resilience of the farmers, aided and supported by the Banana Board,” she said. “I want to congratulate the farmers for their resilience and for their productivity, in spite of the constraints.”
“We also have some very hard-working extension and research officers, as well as quality control and certification officers,” said Mrs. Conie. “They are all working together with the farmers to ensure that they make their businesses very profitable, and the banana and plantain business is profitable.”
The figures show that the Board exceeded its initial target of annual production of 70,000 metric tonnes of banana and 47,300 metric tonnes of plantains by 2023, using 2015 as the base year.
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Applications for events up in Hanover
The Hanover Municipal Corporation has noticed an increase in the recent months in the number of applications for entertainment and vending permits.
Romeo Daley, the Corporation's acting chief executive officer, said that the increase in applications is seen as a sign that social and economic life in the parish is returning to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020.
“We can safely say that since the lifting of the COVID-19 measures, we have seen an increase in the applications we have received at the Corporation,” Daley said. “Since November, December last year… we have seen that activities have picked up. So, we know that things are almost back on track in terms of entertainment events.”
He said that the increase in applications for permits will provide a boost to the Corporation’s revenue. Also, Daley urged people who sell goods on the street to formalise their business by requesting the necessary licence to do so in public markets.
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More people are adopting Lynk
There is an uptick in the number of persons utilising remittance services provided through the digital payment wallet – Lynk.
Lynk is currently the sole wallet facilitating transactions involving Jamaica’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) – JAM-DEX. It is an app that can be downloaded on mobile devices.
“All they need to do is download the Lynk app, use their ID and TRN (tax registration number), and they are able to collect remittances instantly within the Lynk app, all day, every day. No lines, no fees, no need to take transportation and incur more costs,” said Brand and Sponsorship Manager for Lynk, Kemoi Burke.
He said that through a partnership with MoneyGram, the new feature on the app will make it easier for persons to receive remittances. Burke explained that the process “is actually simple”, noting that “nothing changes on the sender side”.
“The sender will go to a MoneyGram location [overseas] or they [can] use MoneyGram online or the app to send funds to a person in Jamaica. Let’s say Miss Mary is in Wait-a-Bit, who wants to collect a remittance,” he said. “Typically, she would have to wait until the following day to go and collect said remittance. With Lynk, you will receive it instantly.”
The Lynk/MoneyGram partnership allows the sender to transfer up to $100,000 per day. In order to access the funds on Lynk, the receiver will need to follow the security guidelines that are a feature of the app.
Persons creating Lynk accounts must complete full onboarding with a tier-two account. This includes adding a valid government-issued ID, in addition to the required biometric data, which offers added security on the platform.
St. Ann to truck water to drought-stricken areas
Residents of St. Ann who have suffered because of the island's drought circumstances could soon find some comfort.
The St. Ann Municipal Corporation has been given a $4 million budgetary allocation by the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation to start trucking water to parish villages that are suffering from the drought.
Councillor Sydney Stewart, the mayor of St. Ann's Bay, said that the recent rainfall was insufficient to restock water supplies. “We have had some rainfall in the last couple of days but that has not changed the drought situation in any significant way… so there is a heavy demand for water to be trucked to these drought-stricken areas, particularly in the backlands of St Ann,” he emphasized.
The hardest afflicted places, according to him, are Claremont, Moneague, Bensonton, and Gibraltar. The delivery of water to the towns will start soon, according to Mayor Stewart. He also noted that the distribution of the commodity will be based on need. He stated that the National Water Commission (NWC) is still providing water to communities it serves.
Water crisis: Vital investment opportunity?
By Ambroise Fayolle and Henk Ovink
LUXEMBOURG – Together with air, water is arguably the planet’s most important natural resource. Functioning water systems are one of the technological pillars of civilization, which often makes a water crisis a matter of life or death.
Today, about two billion people lack access to safe drinking water, and roughly half the world’s population experiences severe water scarcity for at least part of the year. Our limited freshwater resources are already overburdened by growing populations and water-thirsty economies.