Workshop: Jamaica Network of Rural Women Producers (JNRWP) Localizing SDGs

General Information

Date: 25th August 2022

Location: The College of Science Agriculture and Education

Facilitated by: Kadamawe Knife (PhD)

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About the workshop

The main focus of the workshop was to expose participants to the components of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), highlighting how their activities as rural women farmers could contribute to Jamaica attaining the SDGs. Additionally the participants were engaged in discussions as to how these activities also supported efforts to achieve the four goals and fifteen outcomes of the countries Vision 2030 Strategy.

There were two other sub-focal points of the workshop:

  1. To expose the farmers to the entrepreneurship process and business cycle. This was considered important as the JNRWP desired to further encourage the farmers to adopt entrepreneurial best practices as they operate their business ventures. Importantly the participants also needed to understand the entrepreneurship ecosystem within the country and be able to identify which institutions offers what kind of support to them.
  2. To expose participants to the key elements for consideration when mainstreaming gender in programmes and projects, as well as in policy development. This again was a crucial element, as many of these women were never exposed to these imperatives despite the country commitment to mainstream gender and all vulnerable groups in all programmes and projects, with specific emphasis on the agriculture sector.

The workshop commence with the team lead of the JNRP, Ms Tamisha Lee, welcoming the participants and explaining to them the purpose of the workshop. The participants were asked to introduce themselves and explain what their expectations of the workshop was. While the focus of the workshop was on the SDGs, the participants highlighted that they would want to be exposed as to best practices in operating their agro-venture. From the introduction, it was clear that while some of the participants were established farmers, some were just beginning to establish their farms and were not yet registered with the Rural Agriculture Development Authority (RADA). As such, the JNWRP immediately agree to support them in getting this registration done and highlight the importance of doing, as it relates to accessing support and incentives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. It was also unearthed from the introduction that many of the women were engaged in multiple income earning activities (e.g. soft furnishing, operations of shops and bars). Additionally while some were in primary production others were involve in some value added/minimal processing, e.g. baking, making of confectionaries using agriculture inputs, e.g. peanut cakes, coconut drops etc. However importantly some of these participants had acres of land under production and were in the process of trying to expand their operations.

When asked to express what their expectations were from the session, the women stated:

  • To understand what is the SDGs, as they were not aware of what were the SDGs and Vision 2030
  • To increase their knowledge on how to run their businesses and grow them
  • To understand where to get business support services
  • To understand how to access resources offered to farmers
  • To develop further relationships and partnerships with other farmers so as to share ideas, skillsets and equipment
  • To get greater access to markets to distribute their products

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