For Immediate Release
(Kingston, Jamaica – Oct. 1, 2012) – INMED Caribbean, the local not-for-profit affiliate of INMED Partnerships for Children in the United States, organized a Farm-to-Table event at Pantrepant Farm in Trelawny to benefit the Jamaican Adaptive Agriculture Program (JAAP). Through a cooperative agreement with the United States for International Development (USAID), the program is creating a sustainable form of agricultural microenterprise that conserves natural resources and adapts to climate change threats.
Pantrepant, an organic farm owned by Chris Blackwell, hosted the event to raise awareness and support for JAAP activities in Trelawny, Hanover and Westmoreland. The Sept. 29 event hosted30 guests, including farmers who produced the fish and vegetables served on the luncheon buffet, and teachers who are training the next generation of Jamaica’s farmers. Knockalva Agricultural College was represented by Principal Josh Nelson, who announced the addition of aquaponics to the school’s curriculum and the formation of a Climate Change Club. Dromilly Farmers Cooperative was represented by one of its members, Tameicka Young, who said that the JAAP had breathed new life into their community:
“ USAID and INMED has brought new life to our group. Membership has grown and there is renewed interest in farming in our community.”
GOJ partners that supported the event included the Jamaica Business Development Company and the Planning Institute of Jamaica. Private-sector supporters included Scotiabank, Digicel, Norman Peart, a director of the Usain Bolt Foundation, and several other stakeholders from Montego Bay and Kingston.
A discussion and farm tour preceded the luncheon, showcasing the technology and source of the fish and vegetables produced through the INMED aquaponics systems in the parish as well as the lamb, beef, fruits and vegetables raised at Pantrepant. Aquaponics, the cornerstone of the JAAP, produces fish and vegetables by recirculating nutrient-laden water from fish ponds into hydroponic vegetable grow beds that filter the water and return it to the fish ponds in a closed loop. It uses no fertilizer, employs a smaller footprint than traditional agriculture and conserves water.
INMED Caribbean and Pantrepant Farm are exploring ways of deepening this public/private partnership to include research on producing local feed to support the fish farms that are at the heart of the aquaponics systems, and planning other events to highlight the importance of climate change adaptation and the role that farmers and youth can play in promoting adaptive agricultural technologies.
INMED was represented by President and CEO Dr. Linda Pfeiffer, Chief Technical Director Dr. Thad Jackson, Program Development Manager Emily Strittmater, and Hyacinth Symes, Paul Barrett and Robert Wright of INMED Caribbean. USAID was represented by Claudette Anglin, Technical Officer for the project. and Kimberley Weller, USAID Communications Specialist. The event was hosted by Pantrepant Farm Managers Gustavo Díaz Flores and Luis Rojas.
Last updated: August 19, 2013