3,721 women, youth to benefit from JSIF-REDI II income-generation grant
Approximately 3,721 women and youth in the agriculture and tourism sectors from vulnerable communities will benefit from the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF)-Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) II income-generation grant valued at $150 million. This initiative includes the supply of critical inputs targeting women entrepreneurs and youth between the ages of 18 and 35 in both rural and urban areas. Under this sub-project, beneficiaries are required to make contribution of five per cent in kind to support the implementation of the initiative. These main deliverables will include the provision of tools, equipment and inputs for crop production, broiler and layer operations equipment, fisheries inputs, the provision of safety gear, as well as apiculture and small stock and inputs.
The JSIF in its quest to support the agriculture and community tourism sectors has sought to join forces with several partners. These include the Tourism Product Development Company, Rural Agricultural Development Authority, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Jamaica 4-H Clubs and the Social Development Commission.
Jamaica has not been immune to the economic contraction brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to managing director of the Jamaica Social Investment Fund, Omar Sweeney, “The pandemic has caused a disproportionate impact among the most vulnerable in society, including female workers in farming and community tourism, who have been earning less due to loss of hours during this period, and others who are single mothers and have less access to social protection. We see this as an opportune time to extend support to both our women and youth who have been negatively impacted in order to make their operations more viable.”
Training and capacity building also form part of this sub-project. Through this component, beneficiaries will be trained in the areas of business and agricultural best practices, animal husbandry, layer and broiler production, crop production, food safety and safety at sea. It is anticipated that the outcomes from this intervention will result in increased household incomes, greater access to markets, increase in productivity and produce quality, as well as making the farmers more equipped to meeting market demand with adequate supplies of produce. In terms of the community tourism beneficiaries, this opportunity will allow them to provide improved experiential offerings for both domestic and international tourists.
The REDI II project is implemented by JSIF through a loan agreement between the Government of Jamaica and the World Bank.