Tuesday, 16 July 2019

COMMUNITY BEAT: News + Notes from Negril to Morant Point

ST. ELIZABETH: Addressing high-school grads in the bread basket parish recently, state minister Floyd Green spoke of a new agri/eco project, dubbed the Greening of Jamaica. It’s the government’s fruit-tree planting programme, which is aimed at planting five million trees over the next five years, “to yield fresh, locally grown food that can provide nutritious food source and food security.” Green wants the youth, in particular, to get involved. “We have to guide our children in becoming leaders of tomorrow, and show them how to best care for our environment. That’s where we have to start,” he said. “We are experiencing significantly high temperatures and planting these fruit trees is a simple and effective method of reducing this unbearable heat.” 

ST. JAMES: CEO of the St. James Municipal Corporation, Gerald Lee, say for this fiscal year at least 400 persons in the parish will each be provided with grants of up to $50,000 to develop a small business, and these individuals will be monitored to ensure that the business ventures are sustained. The initiative falls under the Local Economic Development (LED) programme, which has budgeted $10 million for the exercise. “If they are going into chicken-rearing, we ensure that they provide the infrastructure and then we provide them with the working capital to start the business,” Lee explains. Montego Bay mayor Homer Davis (pictured above) likes the idea. “If we can empower our people,” he says, “then you will realize your dreams of taking care of yourself and taking care of your children.” 

ST. ANN: Northern Caribbean University (NCU) has opened a new campus in the garden parish. The North Jamaica Regional Campus (located at the Evansville Business Complex in St. Ann’s Bay) brings to three the number of regional campuses now operated by the university. It’s a strategic business move to better serve the parish’s business community, says Sherrice Lyons (Director of Regional Campuses). “It will also ensure accessibility for students from St. Ann, as well as those who may choose to travel from as far as St. Mary and Trelawney,” she says. According to Lyons, the St. Ann campus will eventually join the Kingston and Montego Bay regional campuses in offering full-time degree courses. The university’s headquarters and main campus is located in Manchester.

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