Joyce Carty learns the business of poultry production
Christopher Serju, Gleaner Writer
SPANISH TOWN, St Catherine:THE LAST time Joyce Carty was involved in poultry production it went bust, in large measure because of one client taking off with 98 pounds of chicken for which she is still awaiting payment. This time around she is much better informed and prepared for doing business.
She told The Gleaner: "Me going look me market first. Then them will tell me what time them want the chicken, so me can pluck it today and them get it by the evening. When me get paid me will keep a record of how much me sell and so."
The 61-year-old was one of 29 proud residents of Tawes Meadows who graduated last week after completing a basic course in cash-crop production on animal husbandry, conducted by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) officers.
Carty is among the 51 residents who initially took up the offer from the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) to learn about honeybee production, egg/layer production, poultry, cash crops, pig rearing and goat rearing.
Having received 50 day-old chicks and five bags of feed to jump-start a poultry venture two weeks ago, she shared with The Gleaner some of the lessons learnt during the classes which started at 10 o'clock and which ran until midday or 1 o'clock.
"You have to take care of them," Carty explained. "You have to give them X amount of light and curve them in for a period of about three weeks from the breeze. So me curve them from me get them inside. Give them light and keep them warm and change them water every other day."
Having engaged in poultry rearing before, Carty opted to pursue that business venture. So, the timing of the training intervention was just right for her. With business having slowed, she had all but given up caring for babies, which had been her source of income. In addition, the coops were still in good order and, with the help of her children, retrofitting them was fairly easy.
Making the transition was easy, given the potential economic independence which can accrue, but is dependent on her vigilance, hard work and astute business acumen and her head space is in the right place.
"Me have me mind pon the chicken, so me prefer fi use me talent pon the chicken. I have the plan worked out so me don't plan fi make it guh back down the drain," said Carty.
Omar Cummings is yet to receive the day-old chicks, only because he offered the use of his coop to a friend and so had nowhere to house the birds when they became available.
The impact of the lessons the 35-year-old learnt extends well beyond the classroom walls, as he explained: "So me have to share with somebody and cooperate with the coop until mine is ready again, because nothing beat cooperation."
Describing himself as a tradesman skilled in masonry, cabinet work and construction, he welcomed the opportunity to upgrade his résumé, with the additional training and certification a big deal.
He shared with The Gleaner: "That now give an encouragement and a drive fi go ahead because you don't know what is in the future. So if nothing a gwaan with the skill work me just go inna the farming. It (certificate) is very good and will carry me a far way because if you go overseas and try fi live, you certify as a farmer worldwide and thing. So me give thanks."