Thu | May 13, 2021

Glenford Graham finds opportunity in adversity

St Catherine resident turns to farming, reaps rewards

Published:Monday | April 12, 2021 | 12:15 AMRasbert Turner/Gleaner Writer
St Catherine resident Glenford Graham with his produce. Graham decided to turn to farming after his catering business slowed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is happy about this decision and is reaping rewards.
St Catherine resident Glenford Graham with his produce. Graham decided to turn to farming after his catering business slowed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is happy about this decision and is reaping rewards.
A crop of sweet peppers grown by Glenford Graham.
A crop of sweet peppers grown by Glenford Graham.
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When the bills started to pile up and the profit in the family catering business dwindled with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, St Catherine resident Glenford Graham decided it was time to start new venture.

“I know from experience that people always need fresh food and vegetables, so I chose to plant short crops as there would be less working capital and quicker turn of income,” Graham said.

This resulted in clearing the a four-acre plot of land he has in Charlemont, St Catherine, and the thrust into farming commenced.

Fast-forward one year later and, Graham said he is happily producing cash crops for households from different sections of St Catherine and neighbouring parishes.

REAPING THE BENEFITS

“I started to cultivate okras, sweet peppers, hot peppers and cucumbers. I am now reaping the benefits, although it is the result of working hard, especially in the early stages,” Graham said

He was spotted along the Byndloss main road in St Catherine using his Nissan sport utility vehicle laden with peppers to supply his customers.

“Mr Graham, sell mi a pound a dem pepper deh. What happen, you don’t have any okra tidday?” Nadine Brissett said.

After serving his customers, Graham expressed happiness on the new direction his life has taken.

“ This is what I do now, as the pandemic set me back in one area of my business. I had this piece of land, therefore I am using the opportunity given to me,” Graham said.

He revealed that he brings the service to his customers wherever they are, while still learning on the job.

Graham said he is used to transition, as from been an employee at the one of the bauxite-mining companies, to restaurant and catering, farming is the next move.

“ Yes,we are living in changing times and the pandemic added to that, therefore we (people) will have to adjust our lifestyle to survive,” Graham said.

The senior citizen said that while farming can help with food security, his concern is that more youth need to be encouraged to take up farming to ensure sustainability of the business.

He explained that farming is a fulfilling profession but still underrated pursuit from which an honest living can be made.