Gareth Davis Sr, Gleaner Writer
HOPE BAY, Portland:
PRESERVING THE family tradition of farming is just what 42-year-old Clive Segree is doing in the hills of Fruitful Vale, Portland, as he struggles to support his two children and a common-law-wife.
Segree, whose father, was a banana and coffee farmer back in the 1960s and '70s, handed down that livelihood to him, which up until today, has allowed him to earn not only money, but to provide various farm produce to persons in Portland, Kingston, St Andrew, and St Catherine.
"I am a bread provider. I feed people with the best that are grown by me. Farming is my way of life, and it has been like that for the past 26 years," commented Segree. "I grew up seeing my father and grandfather planting just about everything, and back then, my only thought was to become a farmer. I am independent and, therefore, I work at my own pace, with no one to boss me around. I am encouraged by the fact that people depend heavily on what I plant for their personal use."
Variety of crops
Segree, who along with his donkey 'Betsy', can be seen travelling into the remote hills of Fruitful Vale on a daily basis, cultivates a variety of crops including yam, plantain, banana, dasheen, pepper, callaloo, pumpkin, and pak choy. Some of the mature produce is sold locally, but the bulk of his crops are transported to Coronation Market in Kingston, where they are sold to consumers from several parishes.
But while Segree is enjoying a life of farming, which has allowed him to send his 13-year-old child to high school and to support a younger child, his only drawback is that he was unable to finish school. According to the farmer, had he been able to finish school, it would have enabled him to secure a more rounded education, which, he believes, would help him greatly in making certain calculated decisions.
Continuing, Segree said: "I would be better able to make smart decisions in terms of rotating my crops, and to make them more marketable. Yes, I am doing pretty well, but with a more proper marketing strategy, I could probably tap into the hotel and supermarket by providing them with fresh farm produce. At this stage of my farming life, I would definitely need guidance as to how to go about doing that as my level of intelligence is somewhat limited."