Fund Jamaican Farmers in Climate-Smart Aquaponics

by INMED Partnerships for Children, Inc.
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Fund Jamaican Farmers in Climate-Smart Aquaponics
Fund Jamaican Farmers in Climate-Smart Aquaponics
Fund Jamaican Farmers in Climate-Smart Aquaponics
Fund Jamaican Farmers in Climate-Smart Aquaponics
Fund Jamaican Farmers in Climate-Smart Aquaponics
Fund Jamaican Farmers in Climate-Smart Aquaponics
Fund Jamaican Farmers in Climate-Smart Aquaponics
Fund Jamaican Farmers in Climate-Smart Aquaponics
Fund Jamaican Farmers in Climate-Smart Aquaponics
Fund Jamaican Farmers in Climate-Smart Aquaponics
Fund Jamaican Farmers in Climate-Smart Aquaponics
Fund Jamaican Farmers in Climate-Smart Aquaponics
Fund Jamaican Farmers in Climate-Smart Aquaponics
Fund Jamaican Farmers in Climate-Smart Aquaponics
Fund Jamaican Farmers in Climate-Smart Aquaponics
Fund Jamaican Farmers in Climate-Smart Aquaponics
Fund Jamaican Farmers in Climate-Smart Aquaponics
Fund Jamaican Farmers in Climate-Smart Aquaponics
Fund Jamaican Farmers in Climate-Smart Aquaponics
Fund Jamaican Farmers in Climate-Smart Aquaponics
Fund Jamaican Farmers in Climate-Smart Aquaponics
Fund Jamaican Farmers in Climate-Smart Aquaponics
Fund Jamaican Farmers in Climate-Smart Aquaponics
Fund Jamaican Farmers in Climate-Smart Aquaponics
Fund Jamaican Farmers in Climate-Smart Aquaponics
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

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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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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
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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
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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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Organization Information

INMED Partnerships for Children, Inc.

Location: Sterling, VA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @inmedchildren
Project Leader:
Mary-Lynne Lasco
Sterling, VA United States
$9,532 raised of $15,000 goal
 
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$5,468 to go
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