Develop new Jamaican brands, says USAID mission director

By RHOMA TOMLINSON Observer writer

Monday, March 17, 2014    

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester - Mission Director for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Jamaica Denise Herbol has called for more research into local traditional and new industries, to help spur Jamaica's development.

Herbol noted that famed Jamaican brands such as Blue Mountain Coffee, Appleton Rum, Walkerswood Jerk Spices and Black River Chocolate, were established through many years of research.

More needed to be done to replicate such successes, she said.

"Jamaica is ripe to expand growth to ensure other industries and sectors can have the same success ... it is no secret that Jamaica boasts some of the richest natural resources on earth," she said.

The USAID mission director was addressing the opening ceremony for Research Week 2014, at the Northern Caribbean University (NCU), which was held under the theme, 'Research, a platform for participating in Global development".

"Jamaica must develop new models ... develop new partnerships either internally or at the international level to maximise impact," Herbol said.

Pointing to the Jamaica diaspora and the commitment Jamaicans living overseas have to their country, the USAID director called on Jamaicans living here to strengthen these partnerships. "Real and transformative development requires not only funds from abroad but a commitment from the diaspora to invest their time and knowledge to develop the talents that exist in Jamaica," she said.

Herbol said that a recent meeting with head of the Diaspora Advisory Board, Leo Gilling, pointed to the organisation's desire to give back to their communities. She noted that USAID played a critical role in "facilitating partnerships with diaspora communities to promote economic and social growth in countries around the world."

Lauding NCU for successes in the international Imagine Cup competition and the recent Digicel Jamaica mobile applications competition, Herbol called on Jamaica's youth to "embrace the qualities of youth - your imagination, your optimism, your idealism and translate them into action. We must take our destiny into our own hands and create opportunities", she said.





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