Oct 23, 2019

More Systems Underway, IACA Farmer Wins Prize

Clarendon farmers break ground
Clarendon farmers break ground

Our aquaponics farmers have been extremely productive since our last update. Via a partnership with the Jamaica Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, INMED Caribbean recently broke ground on two more community aquaponics systems in the parish of Clarendon, where residents continue to struggle with the devastating environmental and socioeconomic effects of climate change. While construction proceeds on these systems, farmers in the community of James Hill held a volunteer workday to prepare their grow beds for planting (see photos).

INMED’s Increasing Access to Climate-Smart Agriculture (IACA) project will not only provide year-round food security for vulnerable communities, such as those in Clarendon, but will also provide technical and business training, access to financing and links to markets for those who wish to launch agribusinesses.

 And speaking of agribusinesses, we’re pleased to congratulate Marcus Sewell, one of our first IACA farmers, on winning the JN Small Business Loans Start-Up Kick Start Competition to launch a vertical aquaponics enterprise , including aquaponics and vertical farming to raise microgreens.

“I pitched the concept to seven panel judges,” explains Marcus. “I  took them through the concept and how I would scale the micro-business into a full-grown company that would do an IPO on the Jamaica Stock Exchange.” His plan impressed the judges enough to award him JMD100,000 in seed funding. Our team at INMED Caribbean is helping Marcus negotiate a partnership with Dinthill Technical College to potentially lease its INMED Aquaponics system to get started.

“Being a participant of INMED's IACA program helped me a lot with the actual idea,” says Marcus. “I was aware that the JN Small Business Loan and INMED had a partnership that would allow INMED's trained farmers to receive a loan to start-up their aquaponics systems. I was thinking if I win the JN Start Up Kick Start competition, then it would position me better to get the loan from JN Small Business Loan program.”

Marcus is now well positioned to achieve that goal and much more! Read more about the JN Small Business Loans Start Up Kick Start Competition: https://www.jnsbl.com/jnsbl-start-up-kick-start-winner-announced/

 

 

James Hill farmers prepare their grow beds
James Hill farmers prepare their grow beds
More systems under construction in Clarendon
More systems under construction in Clarendon
IACA farmer Marcus Sewell wins Kick Start funding
IACA farmer Marcus Sewell wins Kick Start funding
Marcus Sewell checks out possible site at Dinthill
Marcus Sewell checks out possible site at Dinthill
Jul 24, 2019

Update on Our INMED Aquaponics Farmers in Jamaica

Clarendon system under contruction
Clarendon system under contruction

We are pleased to report that more than 80 established and emerging farmers completed our online IACA training course on INMED Aquaponics in the past year. The training has included technical, business and finance modules (approximately 25 in the past quarter alone). Our INMED Caribbean team also has provided oversight and technical assistance for the construction of two new commercial-size aquaponics systems.

Testing a new design

In Clarendon, we’re introducing a new circular fish tank design to the community aquaponics systems we’re installing in partnership with the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation. Jamaicans are familiar with building round structures out of concrete (for water catchment, etc.) and using fewer inputs compared to square tanks, enabling faster—and more affordable—construction. Round tanks will also help concentrate and more efficiently remove fish waste solids, thereby improving water quality for the fish.

Building partnerships

Our business consulting team continues to coach farmers who have successfully completed our technical and basic entrepreneurship courses in business planning and loan management. We’re also collaborating with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries; the Rural Agriculture Development Authority; the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), the Jamaica Agricultural Society and other stakeholder to develop a robust market for our agro-entrepreneurs and to ensure sustainability.

Looking ahead

A new cohort of IACA participants is ready to take the 1-week intensive training workshop, beginning next quarter. Our team is excited to expand our program reach to help more Jamaicans achieve food security and economic independence.

 As always, thank you for your interest and support. You are improving lives and local economies in Jamaica!

Circular fish tank -- a new design
Circular fish tank -- a new design
Grow beds under constructiton
Grow beds under constructiton
Grow beds under construction 2
Grow beds under construction 2
Apr 29, 2019

INMED Aquaponics to relieve Clarendon communities

Clarendon farmers build first aquaponics system
Clarendon farmers build first aquaponics system

Since our last IACA project report, our agri-business consulting team has been hard at work coaching our aquaponics farmers in business modeling, stakeholder engagement, financing and other aspects of cultivating a successful start-up. Our demonstration systems at the College of Agriculture and Science Education (CASE) are near completion, and several of our aquaponics entrepreneurs have initiated their own operations.

Farmer Marcus Sewell organized a recent site visit for project stakeholders and others to see the new systems at CASE and tour IACA farmer Louis McLaren's aquaponics system. We’re thrilled with their progress!

Our team at INMED Caribbean also is partnering with the national Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation (MEGJC) in Clarendon, which has been hard hit by climate change events, including floods, landslides, droughts and wildfires. This parallel project supports the overall promotion of aquaponics for small-scale farmers across the island by building systems for farming groups in five communities to strengthen food security and income generation. We have held several introductory workshops on aquaponics in those communities, designed systems to accommodate the sites and have initiated construction on two systems.

Stay tuned for more updates as our aquaponics farmers go commercial.

INMED Caribbean leads first workshops in Clarendon
INMED Caribbean leads first workshops in Clarendon
Clarendon farmers welcome INMED Aquaponics
Clarendon farmers welcome INMED Aquaponics
 
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