Food For The Poor assists corn farmers

January 30, 2017
John Murray shows off an ear of corn he recently picked.
Othniel Carby (left), project officer in the agriculture department at Food For The Poor-Jamaica, and farmer Dennis Roberts show of Roberts' corn which was recently harvested from corn seeds donated by the charity.
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For hundreds of farmers across Jamaica, a single bag of corn seeds represents a great improvement not only for the quality of their harvest, but also for the betterment of their lives.

More than 1,200 bags of corn seeds were donated by Food For The Poor Jamaica to be distributed through the Jamaica Agricultural Society and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority across all parishes.

Omar Dennis, a farmer of 15 years, has seen positive changes since he received the seeds in August 2016.

Dennis, who is the sole breadwinner of his family, said reaping the produce from the donated corn seeds has benefited his family. In the past, he sometimes struggled to send his two children, ages 8 and 11, to school due to lack of funds.

"Now I am sure that I will be going home with money for my family. It feels good to know that I am able to provide food for them and I am sure that my children can go to school," Dennis said.

Dennis expressed gratitude to Food For The Poor Jamaica for providing the seeds, which he could not afford to buy.

Corn seeds are very expensive. One bag of corn seed would actually cost us approximately J$30,000, so it is really a great venture," he added.

Dennis Roberts, who has farmed for 30 years, expressed happiness with the high-quality crop that the corn seeds produced.

"It's among the best quality that we have seen since planting corn for over the last 20 years," he said.

Roberts added that the corn was able to survive the drought and resist diseases better than what he had grown in the past.

He also praised the charity for its contribution to farmers.

"We will save as a result of not having to purchase fertilisers, which means we will earn a greater profit," Roberts said.

David Mair, executive director of Food For The Poor Jamaica, said the charity and its donors recognise the importance of agriculture to Jamaica's development.

"Distributions such as this and our continued support of members of the agricultural sector represent our belief that agriculture is critical to Jamaica achieving socioeconomic growth," Mair said.

Food For The Poor Jamaica contributes to farmers across Jamaica through its agricultural ministry and a number of initiatives.

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