Mon | Nov 12, 2018

'Harder because I am a woman' - Tannisha Scarlett

Published:Monday | October 22, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Tannisha Scarlett

Existing in two worlds dominated by men, agriculture and the media, Tannisha Scarlett is winning in both. Captivated by the power of television production and equipped with a compelling personality, she is championing the cause to educate farmers about how best to yield results through her programme, Agriviews.

Agriviews is a weekly aired information-rich programme that explores all spheres of agriculture. It's her dream to become the information hub for farmers not only across Jamaica, but at all ends of the Caribbean and even a wider sphere. Describing herself as a tenacious soul, Scarlett is also goal-oriented and strives to be a better version of herself each day. "I'm driven by my challenges and criticisms. For example, some persons have told me that because I am a woman I'm not going to be successful and I want to show them that I can excel," Scarlett told Flair. Agriviews is her passion.

This is not the professional route she had initially planned to trod. Computer graphic arts is her first love, but as luck would have it, she stumbled on a grand talent-building opportunity to tap into television land. "At that time, I was working at a government entity and they wanted a producer. I was encouraged to try it out, and I did," she said. Eventually, she fell in love with the skill. Plus, with an eye for sequencing she grew fonder and even more clever.

As time passed, she wanted to become more adept in her new attachment. So, Scarlett enrolled at the Caribbean School of Media and Communication (CARIMAC) at the University of the West Indies. After completing her studies there, she was off to further her training at Media Technology Institute in Kingston. With an appreciation for farming after satisfying her thirst for wits in television production, she married the two. This gave birth to Agriviews, that has a concept from the farm to the plate. "It's to get our farmers more informed about what is happening in our country. I also want them to realise that they have a voice in the sector, too, because everything starts with them," she said. Dispelling myths about agriculture is another objective she has set out to accomplish. A man in a water boots wearing khaki pants and wielding a machete in his hands is the image she wishes to erase from many minds. "We have evolved, that's not what agriculture is about now," Scarlett told Flair.

She explains that in the four years she has been producing Agriviews, she has come across a number of blows as she toils in her pursuits. Adequate funding and limited partnerships and sponsor are the top three obstacles. According the Scarlett, the underlying reason for her objections is the mere fact that she is a woman. She said, "It's definitely not easy getting the production to where I want it. I've seen men in my field picked up a phone, make arrangements and everthing comes through easily and quickly. But that doesn't happen when I do it. They just are not confident in me because I'm woman." Still, she is determined to press on, prove her worth, and continue to make a difference while making her project bigger and better. Her programme is now being aired and is impacting farmers in Barbados and other Caribbean countries. There are also plans in place for her to spread her digital footprint in other areas.

rocheda.bartley@gleanerjm.com