Mon | Aug 20, 2018

Tourists to help J'cans 'Plant Suppn'

Published:Monday | January 19, 2015 | 12:00 AM

More than 600 tourists from across North America will arrive in Jamaica tomorrow for a respite from winter temperatures but also to 'Plant Suppn'.

Plant Suppn is project organised by Farm Up Jamaica, a non-profit organisation committed to encouraging young Jamaicans to choose farming as a viable career.

The visitors will plant 10 acres of organic ginger in the Haddo community of Westmoreland.

The project is also part of Farm Up Jamaica's commitment to encourage the increased growth and exportation of organic foods from Jamaica.

Neil Curtis, founder of Farm Jamaica, told The Gleaner that not only will Plant Suppn draw attention to the benefits of farming, but it is also a creative way to bring more visitors to the island.

"Projects like these are meant to inspire Jamaicans, especially our youth," said Curtis. "There are many other groups who want to visit, as farming has become an international trend," he added.

The project, which is co-funded by TERRA International LLC, a Utah-based company that provides therapeutic-grade essential oils to the world, will see the visitors divided into two groups. One group will plant organic ginger from 8 a.m. to noon on Thursday, while the second group will toil between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

The farm's produce will be managed, harvested and marketed by a group of recent graduates from the Knockalva Agricultural College.

For Tourism Minister Wykeham McNeill, Plant Suppn offers multiple benefits for the island.

"It will provide several benefits for destination Jamaica, including agricultural productivity, but it will also attract hundreds of visitors to our shores for a worthy cause," declared McNeill.

The tourism minister applauded Farm Up Jamaica for the project and pointed out that the Government was anxious to see other ventures of this type.