Sisters hope to empower women through onion farming
Two sisters in the hillside community of Logwood in Yallahs, St Thomas, have started a flourishing onion farm and now wish to extend it to more women in an effort to enable mothers to be able to financially support their children.
"Some ladies don't have any income to take care of their children and if dem try likkle farming, they can get money to feed their children," 39-year-old Aldeen Biggs-Scott said. "It was the same with my sister."
Her sister, Eugenie Biggs, was working as a security guard for many years but her income wasn't enough to cover all her expenses.
"At the end of the month when I see her income, mi seh this nuh worth it, because a just fare you can pay and she has three children," Biggs-Scott said. "I say, stop work and come on the farm with me, and she was hesitating; and mi seh, gwaan work and mi will plough the land and do everything for you and when it soon ready fi harvest you just stop and come."
Biggs told THE STAR that she hasn't regretted taking her sister's advice.
"Since I have started farming, it has been a huge change because now I can finance myself, I am a single mother, so it hard," she said. "My bills are taken care of, my household taken care of, so it has been a big change."
The sisters started farming in 2010 and secured a contract with distributing food distribution company Spanish Grain Store.
"After we meet the contract demand, if we have anything left we sell to Sandy Supermarket in Yallahs Bay and to higglers as well," Biggs-Scott said.
The sisters said that praedial larceny and lack of running water are their major setbacks.
"We affi carry water on our heads, so if we have the water that will make our lives a little easier," Biggs said. "About a couple of weeks ago, I was in bed and someone called me and said that they saw someone with light on the farm; and the next day [I saw where] they took so much, I wasn't able to fill an order."
Having secured another piece of land to expand the farm, the women are hoping to able to employ other women soon.
"I would want to get a bigger piece of land and employ more women," Biggs-Scott said. "Even though the workload is a lot, dem say if you want good your nose affi run, so if we put our minds to it we will succeed."