Fifteen fishers from the Greenwich Town fishing village in Kingston are now the beneficiaries of new boat engines, which will enable them to expand their capacity for income generation and employment.
The engines were provided under the Government of Jamaica’s Integrated Community Development Project II (ICDP II), executed by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF).
They will expand access to larger fishing grounds, increase the types of fish caught, and enable the fishers to bring them back to market quickly.
Senior Manager for Social Development at JSIF, Mona Sue-Ho, tells JIS News that the boat engines were provided at the cost of $7 million under the ICDP II Enterprise Development Grant, which is geared at providing business support for micro and small enterprises.
“So, we had several fisherfolks from the fishing village who applied, and hence they were shortlisted, and they were selected,” Ms Sue-Ho says.
She adds that JSIF worked closely with the National Fisheries Authority in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to ensure eligible persons could benefit from the grant.
“We wanted to ensure that these fisherfolk were genuine… were operating, so they had to have their licence, and they had to have boats that were seaworthy,” Ms Sue-Ho says.
JSIF also worked closely with the Social Development Commission (SDC) and the Greenwich Town Community Development Council.
Ms Sue-Ho tells JIS News that the provision of the $7 million towards the boat engines is part of a broader programme of support.
“The total amount of grant funding provided by the Government of Jamaica is $23 million, and that benefited …132 (entrepreneurs),” she says, noting that the recipients include the 15 fishers from the Greenwich Town fishing village.
Meanwhile, beneficiary Ruby Britton expresses appreciation to JSIF for the boat engine.
“I was so surprised and happy at the same time,” Ms Britton said, adding that it would be of significant benefit to her business.
The ICDP II is funded by the Government of Jamaica for $1.9 billion and is being implemented from April 1, 2020, to March 31, 2023.
The programme aims to enhance access to basic urban infrastructure and social services and contribute towards increased community safety in selected economically vulnerable and socially volatile communities in Jamaica.
It targets seven communities across three parishes. These are Greenwich Town, August Town and Denham Town in Kingston and St. Andrew; Norwood, Salt Spring and Anchovy in St. James; and Treadlight in Clarendon.
“The main objective of this project is to improve residents’ quality of life by expanding their access to basic services such as water and road networks. It also includes a range of social services to include livelihood development projects, and of course, enterprise development grants,” Ms Sue-Ho says.