JBDC offers help to operators in agricultural sectorSaturday, February 27, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) says the organisation is committed to playing its role in the capacity development of operators in the agricultural sector, to facilitate their increased access to the global market.
Speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’ recently, Chief Executive Officer, JBDC, Valerie Veira, said that the transitioning of informal operators in the Agricultural and Fisheries sector into formal micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) is important to increase exports from local producers.
“Our vision for persons that we serve at the JBDC is not about focusing on the parish that you live in Jamaica, it is a global vision, so we seek to help our clients to understand where in that global market space there is an opportunity for them. We need the operators in the sector to not focus on the crop today but also look to markets external to Jamaica,” she said.
Veira said that the recently launched Formalising Operators in the Jamaican Agricultural and Fisheries Sector project will enable 100 farmers and fisherfolk from across the island to receive training in enterprise that will boost their exporting capabilities.
She noted that for farmers and fisherfolk to access the opportunities available globally for local products, operators of the sector need to formalise to meet the standards in the global market.
“When we start talking about globalisation, it means we have to address consistency, quality control and pricing, because that is very important. We have to meet all the specifications for that market, so we need to prepare ourselves for that by formalising,” Veira said.
For her part, Assistant Manager, Business Advisory Services at the JBDC, Keera Walters, said the JBDC is keen on targeting the MSME sector, as this is in full alignment with the policies of the Government.
“Our efforts in this project will come in the form of training and some interventions, such as building their awareness and competence in business practices like record keeping, financial literacy and the things that must be in place to access financing systems, so you can become bankable and access loans,” she noted.
Walters added that addressing the challenges confronting MSME informality will enable economic growth for operators.
“If you are operating at a subsistence level, it means you are not able to contribute significantly to employment and so while the number of persons in the sector is huge, they are not creating enough moves and contributing to changing the quality of life of our local population as well as to the wider Caribbean and the global space,” she said.
Interested persons for training can access application forms at all 14 Rural Agricultural Development Authority offices, National Fisheries Authority, the JBDC’s office and Small Business Development Centres in Kingston, Manchester, St Ann, St James and Westmoreland.
The International Labour Organization-funded project will run from January to November 2021. The JBDC will be the government agency leading the implementation of the project.
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