Plans afoot to magnify the opportunities for Farmers’ Organizations in Jamaica
Selected farmers’ organization set to receive support to increase production, access to markets and public services for their farmers
Mt Airy Farmer’s Group in Clarendon, Jamaica during weekly meeting. FAO/Chrishane Williams
Kingston, Jamaica. Farmers’ Organizations play a pivotal role in improving the rights, opportunities, social and economic outcomes of small scale and family farmers under their guidance. Beyond food production, farmers’ organizations carry out education, business development, communication, insurance, cultural or health services for their members, arrange childcare and support elderly people in their communities. Ensuring their success enables them to play a catalytic role in the well-being and lives of many rural communities.
Designed to strengthen the capacity of small holder farmers and family farmers is the Farmers’ Organizations for Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (FO4ACP) programme. The Programme is co-implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), PROCASUR and AgriCord and supported by a joint grant from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the European Union (EU) and the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS). In Jamaica, the programme is also being supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. It aims to increase the incomes and improve the livelihoods, food and nutrition security, and safety of organized smallholders and family farmers in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries by strengthening regional, national and local farmers’ organizations.
Jamaica is one of eight countries from the Caribbean region included in this programme. Belize, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti and Saint Lucia are also represented. As a first step in the programme, Farmers’ Organizations are being invited to apply for specialized training and knowledge exchanges in promoting strong business management and marketing, improving access to markets and the capacity to influence dialogues with policy-makers, improving access to financing and increasing production and value addition.
Pedro Boareto, Project Manager for the FO4ACP Programme remarked that, “by improving the capacity of farmer’s organizations in the Caribbean region, we can help farmers to enhance their functions and roles in communities so they can increase services to their members and create an enabling environment at national and regional level to help to improve the socio-economic conditions of the agriculture sector.”The specialized training will be open to farmers’ organizations who apply for the programme and meet its eligibility requirements. The application period is currently open and will continue through to May 3, 2022. Farmers’ Organizations wishing to apply may contact the Department of Cooperative and Friendly Societies, Parish Offices of RADA, and the Headquarters of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) or apply online (https://www.fao.org/in-action/farmers-organization-africa-caribbean-pacific/en).