Son of the soil

Career & Education

Son of the soil

Rohan Roberts combines finance training with agriculture

Sunday, July 28, 2019

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What career does a past student of de Carteret College, who later studies finance and international business at the University of Technology, Jamaica, pursue? Farming, of course!

Passionate about agriculture, finance, and investing, Rohan Roberts found his niche in cattle farming and crop production.

“My interest in agriculture began while growing up. It was more out of financial need than anything else, however, my real interest grew when I began to realise that not much emphasis is placed or considered as far as food security is concerned,” said Roberts.

He grew accustomed to the early mornings on the farm at an early age, and without realising it, raising cattle with his father would provide the foundation he needed to start his own business.

However, like most teenagers, Roberts drifted from farming to focus on other areas of his life. He, however, redirected into agriculture at the age of 17.

Now 28 years old, Roberts employs a small staff complement of four people. However, as much as 20 contract workers are hired whenever the need arises.

“I presently cultivate sweet pepper and Irish potatoes. I also just started goat production and I do some cows as well,” Roberts told the Jamaica Observer.

Roberts is now owner of the Tiverton Farm, which is situated in Christiana, Manchester.

After acquiring land, he, along with two other farm handlers, manually cleared more than five acres of land and started his farm. He also sought advice from other farmers to learn more about farming.

He also attended Ebony Park HEART Academy, where he learnt how to use farming equipment.

“I love finance and I wanted to link it with agriculture. You multiply with agriculture when you put something in the ground. You basically apply the same principles,” explained Roberts.

But the road has not all been large harvests. Roberts has experienced production loss, as well as several incidents of praedial larceny on his farm. He also lost a harvest of sweet potatoes due to pesticides. One would think that after these setbacks he would have thrown in the towel. However, Roberts is a fighter and a determined young man with a mission.

“It was really disappointing when I lost the crop of sweet potatoes. It wasn't devastating, but it wasn't encouraging”, Roberts explained.

He added, “I had been severely affected by praedial larceny every season for about five years until I implemented my own security.”

Proud of his achievement so far, Robert confided with Career & Education that he plans to expand his business in the near future.

He had some advice to young people wishing to pursue a profession in agriculture: “You need to have grit, because you're not going to learn everything at once. You have to seek advice. Just keep on going, and once you learn it, it's a skill that you have in mind which you'll never lose.”

Roberts is a Nutramix Youth in Agriculture ambassador.

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