Sagicor lends a hand to ‘Jill of many trades’
St Catherine farmer Nicole McFarlane, who won the hearts of Jamaicans after a a video of her heading home from work with a baby on the back of her bicycle and tools in her hand, has received a boost from Sagicor Bank Jamaica.
The callaloo farmer, who operates out of St Catherine, was recently given $70,000 by the bank. She was also introduced to Sagicor's SME Resource Centre, where she will be able to access free training in business management, as well as financial support and guidance.
"I'm really happy for the help, because I really want to fence up the farm," McFarlane said, lamenting that thieves often target her crops before she gets a chance to harvest them.
McFarlane, a 'Jill of many trades', said she got hooked on farming about six years ago and was featured in THE STAR last November.
Howard Smith, Sagicor Bank manager, said his team was moved by McFarlane's tenacity after reading her story and felt compelled to encourage her on her journey.
"Nicole is a very ambitious and industrious woman, and we commend her for beginning a journey in agriculture to provide for her family," he said.
"She is truly a brilliant example of how resilient our people can be, and Sagicor Bank is honoured to support her in maximising her potential and developing her business."
McFarlane's farm sits on nearly two acres of land. In addition to farming, she works as a hairdresser, babysitter, domestic worker, vendor and gardener, among other things. Last November, she told THE STAR that she was facing a major problem with praedial larceny.
"The thieves weren't so rampant but from COVID come in, they are out. I work really hard to plant up and every week I have to buy plantain and banana same way to sell because of the thieves," she said.