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Farmer goes extra mile for his children

Published:Saturday | July 18, 2015 | 7:32 PMJolyn Bryan
Farmer Desmond Shaw speaks of his love for his children.

CEDAR VALLEY, St Thomas:

Desmond Shaw, a coffee farmer in Cedar Valley, St Thomas, is both mother and father to his children.

The 40-year-old Monk Land resident told Family and Religion that he has been in

farming for more than 20 years, and the yields from his labour has allowed him to take care of his eight children, three of whom are currently living with him.

"The mother for the last four used to live with me, but she get up one day and leave them on me. One of them leave the house 'cause she have a child, the other one is 18, one is in high school, and the little one is five and just graduate from primary [school]," he shared.

He added: "My children never go to school without the necessary supplies. If the teacher say they need a book, I am getting it and giving it to them," he said.

Shaw welcomes every assistance he can get, as he was one of the farmers that lost his crops to the devastating fire that ravaged the St Thomas countryside.

"Everything burn up - every little thing that I plant - the coffee, all my banana and gungo. And farming is the only thing I know. I tell you the truth, I am not so great with my reading, but I am always trying to elevate myself so the children can have better," Shaw said.

He is hopeful that the promises made by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to provide assistance to those affected by the fire will be kept, as he has no other way of ensuring that his children can continue their education.

"I love farming. And I have been lucky in it. It bring a good feeling to me to just stand up and look over my ground. It's like all I can see is beauty. So I hope I can get the help to start again and grow up some more things for the market soon," he said.

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com