Sep 9, 2020

New Developments Aplenty in Jamaica

INMED team meets with HEART on aquaponics project
INMED team meets with HEART on aquaponics project

Since our last report, our team at INMED Caribbean has working to make INMED Aquaponics® more accessible to vulnerable communities throughout Jamaica.

New Staff

In August, we welcomed Sean Patrick and Rachel Clarke to our INMED Caribbean team. Sean Patrick will fill the role of Regional Technical Officer for INMED Caribbean’s Adaptive Agriculture and Aquaponics Program. A Marine Biology major, Sean has done extensive work in the aquaculture sector, working as an integral part of its rejuvenation in Jamaica over the last several years.  His work as a business consultant, providing support for startups and other SMEs makes him the ideal candidate for his role, providing technical and business support to the small farmers as they adopt the INMED Aquaponics® technology.  

Rachel Clarke is joining INMED Caribbean as Project Administrator. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biological Sciences from Adelphi University in New York. She is an operations management and customer service professional with a wealth of experience in the healthcare field. Before joining INMED Caribbean, Clarke was the Executive Assistant at the Heart Institute of the Caribbean and HIC Heart Hospital, where she spearheaded the management and coordination of programs, projects and educational conferences.

New Backyard System

Our aquaponics experts have designed a small backyard starter system to offer a less expensive alternative to the commercial-size system, with a smaller footprint and mobility, ideal for urban and suburban settings. This will allow more home gardeners the ability to bolster their food security and income-generation opportunities. The system is under development and will be introduced later this year.

New Virtual Outreach

INMED Caribbean is planning virtual tours of our commercial systems at CASE (College of Agriculture and Science Education) and throughout Clarendon for socially distant demonstration and training opportunities. Our team also is expanding on our existing online training course to integrate our classroom workshops.

New Partnerships

We’re developing a new partnership framework with RADA (Rural Agriculture Development Agency) and Jamaica’s Social Development Commission to support our new community systems in Clarendon--specifically for assistance with production (RADA) and cooperative governance (SDC), while we provide technical support with business operations and market development (part of the newest US Embassy grant we just received).

Our team also is in planning discussions with the Human Employment and Resource Training (HEART) Trust/NTA institution about establishing an aquaponics system at its training center. INMED Aquaponics® dovetails nicely with the institution’s new agri-business incubator. HEART is a leading provider of technical vocational education and training in Jamaica and will increase INMED’s capacity to reach more youth and average citizens who are interested in agri-enterprise.

For more information about these exciting developments, please contact Kristin Callahan, INMED Chief Operating Officer, at kcallahan@inmed.org.

Sean Patrick, Regional Technical Officer
Sean Patrick, Regional Technical Officer
Rachel Clarke, Project Administrator
Rachel Clarke, Project Administrator
May 18, 2020

INMED Aquaponics: Food Security During COVID-19

Farmers tend their new system in Alston
Farmers tend their new system in Alston

In our last update, INMED Caribbean was completing the last of five aquaponics systems for vulnerable communities in Clarendon, Jamaica. The region’s agriculture sector has been severely degraded by floods, landslides, drought and wild fires—threatening the food security and livelihoods of roughly 69,000 individuals.   

An official hand-over event was held at one INMED Aquaponics™ system in the Alston District of Clarendon. It was already lush with crops nearly ready for harvest. Representatives from Jamaica’s Adaptation Programme and FinancingMechanism (AP&FM), which financed the project as part of the country’s Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR), as well as members of parliament, national and local community development groups, Peace Corps volunteers working in the communities, and local farmers and their families, joined INMED to celebrate the opportunity for food security, skills development, employment and climate resilience afforded by aquaponics.

The hand-off was in the nick of time. Just five days later, Jamaica reported the first case of coronavirus. As the newly trained aquaponics farmers have been feeding their communities during the pandemic, INMED Caribbean has been developing virtual training resources to supplement technical assistance and ensure the cooperatives are equipped for success.

Read a news article about this project: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20200305/earth-today-clarendon-communities-get-help-face-down-climate-change

Meanwhile our team at INMED Caribbean is working with the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) to develop a training curriculum for its adaptive agriculture students being trained on its new INMED Aquaponics™ systems. The large aquaponics systems, partially financed by the Sandals Foundation, will be the cornerstone of the college’s adaptive agriculture program and will serve approximately 215 CASE students and 500 female farmers islandwide annually.

Each system, which has the capacity to produce roughly 4,000 lbs. of sh and up to 30,000 lbs. of vegetables annually, will also supplement the school’s meals program.

Read a news article about this project: http://www.loopjamaica.com/content/new-aquaponics-unit-strengthens-sustainable-agriculture-output-case

If you would like to help INMED Caribbean develop virtual resources to reach more potential aquaponics farmers, please support this project.

 

 

Ribbon cutting to hand over Clarendon systems
Ribbon cutting to hand over Clarendon systems
Clarendon schoolchildren check out fish tank
Clarendon schoolchildren check out fish tank
Project team celebrates launch of CASE systems
Project team celebrates launch of CASE systems
CASE growbeds are ready for seedlings
CASE growbeds are ready for seedlings
Healthy greens = food security
Healthy greens = food security

Links:

Jan 21, 2020

INMED Caribbean Completes 5 Systems for Clarendon

Food security and poverty alleviation in Jamaica depend heavily upon a vibrant and resilient agriculture sector—currently at high risk due to threats posed by poor agricultural management and climate change. The island is highly vulnerable to the ongoing and future threats of extreme weather events, particularly increasing frequency and intensity of storms, hotter temperatures, extended periods of drought, variations in rainfall and rising sea levels. Of particular concern are decreased agricultural production from combined effects of growing water scarcity and soil erosion exacerbated by changing wind patterns; and decreased availability of high-quality water resources due to saltwater intrusion into the aquifers from rising sea levels and over-pumping of groundwater resources. Surface water and soil quality have also become degraded due to increased storm water runoff caused by intense rain events.

The communities of Clarendon, Jamaica are particularly vulnerable. Located along the Upper Rio Minho Watershed, Clarendon’s agriculture has been severely degraded by floods, landslides, drought and wild fires. The impacts of climate change on the Bull Head agricultural sector are threatening the food security and livelihoods of roughly 69,000 individuals.  

INMED Caribbean has partnered with small-scale farmers in communities within the degraded Clarendon watershed area and diverse government, multilateral and foundation partners, including the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Lab, Caribbean Development Bank, and Jamaica’s Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, and Peace Corps volunteers, to establish aquaponics systems and build farmers’ access to education, employment, markets and financing.

The market for fresh fruits and vegetables among Jamaican hotel operators is estimated at US$52 million annually. Among specialty hotels and restaurants, there is also a growing interest in “farm-to-table” provisioning. The majority of these buyers would prefer to source locally, provided they can buy products in the quality and quantities that they require.

Our team in Clarendon is finishing the last of five INMED AquapoicsTM systems and has held a variety of training workshops for existing farmers and future agri-entrepreneurs. With the success of INMED Caribbean’s programs and the increasing market for local organically grown fresh fish, fruits, and vegetables, there is potential for aquaponics to be adopted as a commercial food production system for small-scale farmers, with INMED Caribbean and INMED-trained agriculture extension agents aiding aquaponics entrepreneurs in hands-on technical assistance, trainings, and providing inputs such as seeds, fish fingerlings, and fish feed, as well as links to prospective buyers.

We are grateful for our GlobalGiving donors, who are helping struggling families adapt to climate change realities in their Clarendon communities. 

 

 

 

 
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