'Farming a my bread' - Youngster wants others to start planting crops
While many young people would turn up their noses at farming, 22-year-old Tristan Burrell isn't afraid to get his hands dirty.
For the past five years, the Central High School past student has been reaping big rewards from his crops: sugar cane, orange, banana, cow peas and sorrel.
"From me born, me see mi grandfather a do this, and me never really do bright inna school so me take it up. Couple months ago is 109 tons me sell, so money deh pon sugar cane. But a whole heap a young people would say dem nah dweet and dem wah work a bank, but a dis ya a my bread," he said.
Other than the ongoing drought, Burrell said that he and his family are sometimes plagued by thieves.
Luckily, he said their actions don't drastically affect his business.
"Me plant tobacco and me raise cow and goat too. Dem teef couple a me goat, but me grandfather lose all a 13 cows. Di teefing ting nuh normal when it ready, but me nah give up 'cause a dis me a go use take care a mi family because no whole heap a opportunity nuh deh here," he said.
As he journeyed towards a nearby river in Oaks Pen district, the farmer said that he is encouraging other young men and women to invest in farming as it will add to the country's economy.
"When me watch news and see how the country a struggle in terms of dollars, me a say to mi self say is because we a import a lot of things that we grow here. We import bean and dem tings deh, and we can plant it out here. Very soon the older man dem nah go can do it, so when every young people wah tun doctor, how Jamaica a go manage? We nah go can eat 'cause me and the few others who a do farming nah go can feed all a the country," he said.
Oaks Pen is located in a very vegetated area of Clarendon. The small district is situated near to the Miners River and has some of the warmest residents one will ever meet.
According to Burrell, their compassion towards each other is probably the reason they boast an almost crime-free slate for years.
"It's a really calm community. Murder and dem tings ya nuh happen a dem place a world ya. Is just a cow teef did get chop up 'bout three years ago. Di teef dem nuh come from the area. You can sleep with you door open in a dem place ya man," he said.