January 13, 2012

JEDP Projects Bearing Fruits

Over 30 community groups have already benefitted from the Jamalco Entrepreneurial Programme (JEDP) and although it is still early days many persons are boasting that their projects are already bearing fruits.

Evadney Harrison partnered with her husband Clifford and three other residents from the Perrins in South Manchester are cultivating peppers.
Their project got off the ground in August and in December the crop was ready for reaping. Already, the group has harvested some 2500 pounds of the condiment.  “We have a ready market for the peppers which is helping the business and we are in a position to start repaying the loan,” Evadney said.

Just over a quarter of the groups are into chicken rearing and the group which includes Stephanie and Althea Latchman are excited about how things have gone so far. Their group started out with 600 birds in late November and after six weeks they had chickens weighing between 4 and 6 pounds. “The first 300 chickens that we sold weighed over 1500 pounds and the meat was sold to restaurants in Mandeville, local shops and residents in the Windsor Forest community. We are very optimistic about the business and we are also planning to expand and diversify what we do,” Stephanie noted.

Jerome Dallas and his partners of the Refinery Community Council were proud to show off their pigs. Although they were already rearing pigs prior to securing the JEDP loan, it was being done on a small scale. Today, they have expanded the farm and have over 300 pigs and piglets. According to Mr. Dallas, “the funds we got pushed us a far way. We were able to introduce high end technology to medicate and water the pigs through the efforts of one team members who is a graduate of the HEART Trust/NTA. We cannot say thanks enough to Jamalco for the many ways in which the company has assisted us.”
Mr. McLean was also a pig farmer prior to accessing the loan. He encouraged members from the Hampton Road to partner with him and today they too are boasting an expansion of the pens which house 11 pigs three of which are breeding.

The Mocho Greenhouse continues to produce a variety of crops. Currently the team is reaping tomatoes which are weighing as much as two pounds. Just last week 200 pounds of the vegetable was picked and sold to supermarkets. Another batch will be reaped next Tuesday.

Under the JEDP revolving loan programme groups of a minimum of five persons and a maximum of 10 may apply for the loan through the C&WJ Cooperative Credit Union to a maximum of $500,000 for a specific project. The loans received by the group must be used strictly for the purpose of establishing a new business or expanding an existing one.

One of the chicken and pig farms.

Click image to enlarge.

One of the chicken and pig farms.