JSIF-REDI II Project Trains 1,660 Agriculture and Community Tourism Beneficiaries

Mr. Omar Sweeney, Managing Director for JSIF

(JIS)At a recently held virtual launch, Managing Director of the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), Omar Sweeney announced that through its Rural Economic Development Initiative II (REDI II) project, some 1,660 agriculture and community tourism beneficiaries will benefit from a comprehensive series of online training programmes which will last from November 2021 to April 2022.

The overall objective of this training programme is to provide comprehensive skills training in best practices relating to COVID-19.

In addressing the audience which spans participants mainly from Europe and Jamaica including; Partners and Representatives from the Tourism Product Development Company, Rural Agricultural Development Authority, the Ministry of Tourism, Jamaica and IMC Worldwide, Spain; Sweeney said; 

“As the World grapples with this prolonged global pandemic, JSIF sees this COVID-19 training as an imperative subject matter, in terms of preparing our stakeholders with the necessary skills, equipment and protocols to respond to the current changes that are creating havoc worldwide spanning all sectors in particular, agriculture and tourism, which are considered the two most vulnerable sectors but of which; contribute significantly to Jamaica’s Gross Domestic Product.  

In addition to the training component, this sub-project also includes the purchasing of supplies and equipment which collectively, is valued at approximately Fifty Two Point Five Million Jamaican Dollars (J$52.5 Million) which is facilitated through a loan agreement between the Government of Jamaica and The World Bank”.

The series of training sessions are being facilitated by an online platform developed by the IMC Worldwide, the Consultants engaged by JSIF to administer the training programmes.   IMC Worldwide has an extensive track record in supporting Governments and Development

Finance Institutions in Jamaica and the Caribbean, and their European team has a wealth of expertise in Tourism and Agriculture.

IMC Worldwide’s Managing Director, Jose de la Maza in endorsing the initiative said  “We are very proud to support JSIF and the rest of collaborating Government partners in this innovative programme to increase resilience in these difficult times for agriculture and community tourism enterprises and entrepreneurs.

 I am sure that this innovative e-learning format and a very well-thought out course design, developed jointly with the JSIF and TPDCO, will provide adequate support for these stakeholders that are in much need of help and support through these tough times of the COVID-19 era.  All this experience and expertise combined with the support of the specialized teams at the JSIF, and the involvement of supporting partners, will ensure a successful and impactful programme.“ 

In responding to the overwhelming endorsements from partners from the Tourism Product Development Company and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority, JSIF’s Managing Director Omar Sweeney also extended commendations to the Government of Jamaica, The World Bank, Partners, the JSIF Board as well as the REDI II team for their tremendous support in making the Rural Economic Development Initiative II (REDI II) project a resounding success.

Meanwhile, Kemeisha Batchan, JSIF’s Project Manager for REDI II indicated that the learning outcomes of the training programme will allow businesses, locals and visitors to adhere to the COVID-19 health and safety protocols developed by the Ministry of Tourism, Jamaica as well as to reboot communities and to support efforts geared toward business continuity as they contend with the negative impacts of the pandemic.

The Rural Economic Development Initiative II project being implemented by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund will conclude in 2025.  The REDI II project is aimed at creating viable economic opportunities in the agriculture and community tourism market segments.