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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 May 22, 2022
We are here to inspire, motivate and uplift.
Food security for Jamaica gets new focus
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is introducing a new campaign dubbed ‘Grow Smart, Eat Smart’ as part of the national food security thrust.
The initiative will target several priority areas, among them crop production, climate-smart practices and technologies, access to finance, and advancing and expanding insurance for farmers, with a focus on praedial larceny.
It will also facilitate development of a National Farming Trust and expansion of fisherfolk and farmers insurance.
Portfolio Minister Pearnel Charles Jr. said that the initiative builds upon the existing policies and programmes to increase production and consumption of local produce.
“It is also intended to… introduce innovations and technology, and advance research and development towards [improving] operations to develop and, ultimately, achieve better results. We will grow smart and eat smart,” he said.
Among other things, it is intended that the campaign will examine the current culture in the agriculture sector and address the gaps to promote greater collaboration and efficiency.
These include providing financing, technical training and support for farmers, especially the youth, to take up farming as a viable business option; providing more leases for idle agriculture lands; and promoting linkages and partnerships.
Diaspora charity awards scholarships to wards of State
Ten wards of the State, who are pursuing tertiary-level studies, have been awarded scholarships by the New York-based Jamaican charity, Children of Jamaica Outreach (COJO).
The recipients, who were selected based on their academic record and financial need, are Megais Simpson, Aneka Gardner, Derval Reid, Thembeka Jarrett, Tianna Campbell, Lechelle Walker, Sahaine Brown, Janet Lafayette, Sashel Walters and Rohane Grey.
They are among 445 youth currently enrolled in the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) Transitional Living Programme.
Launched in 2014, the initiative provides life skills coaching, vocational skills training, housing, accommodation, tertiary education support and other opportunities to prepare the wards for independent living.
Minister of Education and Youth Fayval Williams congratulated the 10 scholarship recipients and urged them to continue to excel.
“You’ve done well. You demonstrated resilience, you did not allow the challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to overwhelm you and distract you from what’s important,” she said.
Founder and Chairman of COJO, Gary Williams, said the scholarship programme was introduced in 2012 to “empower our youth”.
“So much of them have done so well, and we figure that we’d help them get into university and give them the tools to become productive citizens,” he said.
Derval Reid, who is a computer science student at the University of Technology (UTech), said that the scholarship takes him one step closer to completing his studies and achieving his career goal of becoming a software engineer or applications developer. “I feel really happy to know that I [won’t have to] worry about the financial burden on my guardians,” he said.
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Menu of support for small business through Ex-Im Bank
The National Export-Import Bank of Jamaica Limited (Ex-Im Bank) will, this year, be placing special focus on providing support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) involved in non-traditional exports.
These include tourism and its linkages, manufacturing, agro-processing, mining, the service industry, information and communications technology (ICT), and the creative industries.
Details of the programmed engagements are outlined in the Jamaica Public Bodies Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the year ending March 2023.
The document said that the bank will also be undertaking steps over the period to grow and diversify its customer base, by executing market penetration strategies to reach clients in existing and underserved industries and sectors. The bank will, additionally, provide more relief support to SMEs via debt refinancing.
The Public Bodies Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure said, further, that the entity plans to spur improved export performance from new and existing clients through the Exim Export Club. This is a joint initiative with the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) to provide clients of the Export Max III Programme with special club access to services from the bank.
Ex-Im Bank is also looking to employ various initiatives to boost sales and revenue streams. These include enhancing marketing and brand-building programmes to grow and diversify the loan portfolio.
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Global services tapped for growth, says industry minister
The Government is strengthening Jamaica’s capacity to attract higher value-added global services sector investments, by improving the supporting legislative framework.
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Senator Aubyn Hill said he is leading the charge to have “appropriate, business-friendly” legislation enacted.
This, he adds, is to ensure that local and foreign direct investments are managed within a framework of “fiscal prudence and transparency”, while welcoming “useful suggestions to make these relevant changes”.
Senator Hill noted that creation of the Jamaica International Financial Services Association, signaled the Government’s commitment to the process of enhancing global services investment.
Have We Reached the Limits to Growth?
By Michael Jacobs and Xhulia Likaj
BERLIN – Fifty years ago this spring, one of the most influential books of the twentieth century was published. Written for the Club of Rome by Donella Meadows and colleagues at MIT, The Limits to Growth used new computer models to forecast an uncontrollable collapse in the global population and economy if prevailing patterns of environmental resource use and pollution continued. Exponential economic growth could not go on forever; at some point in the next 100 years, it would inevitably run up against Earth’s finite environmental limits.