June 20, 2020
by Jamalco

Three of four Community Councils that benefitted from a bee-keeping income
generating project between 2018 and 2019 are now reaping the sweet reward of hard
labour after harvesting their first crop of honey from the project.

Over the two years, Jamalco invested approximately three million dollars in the beekeeping projects at Port, Harmons Valley, Railroad and Mile Gully Community Councils.

Corporate Services Manager DonnaMarie Brooks-Gordon, one of the main
objectives for this support is to encourage the Community Councils to boost social
enterprise and improve economic prospects for residents in our operating
communities. “Our aim is to help our residents to achieve self-reliance, while creating
jobs for the unemployed. It is our hope that the proceeds from these projects will be
used to improve the lives of persons within the communities while expanding the
projects,” Mrs. Gordon said.

Manager of the Mile Gully Project Dennis Peart, told Jamalco’s Community Relations
Officer, Phillip Biggs, that due to the prolonged drought last year, the yield was less
than projected, but the council members smiled when they saw the 100% pure honey
coming out of the extractor. “The Council will now be moving towards bottling, labelling
and marketing of the product. We are expecting better returns when we reap the
product again in another six weeks,” a proud Mr. Peart said.

At the Railroad Community Council, reaping of the sweet commodity was bittersweet
for Council Chairman and Project Manager, Gaston Thomas, who proudly displayed
several bottles of honey which was recently reaped. Mr. Thomas recalled the
challenges experienced and the council members determination to keep the project
active after the theft of nine of their boxes. “We were only able to rebound because
Jamalco came to our aid and injected additional capital to replace the stolen boxes. I
want to again express gratitude to Corporate Services Manager DonnaMarie Gordon
for assisting us through that difficult time,” Mr. Thomas stated.

Beekeeping projects across the world have presented excellent income generating
opportunities for rural communities, while advancing the business and marketing skills
of community members. Community members also received formal training, through
Jamalco, to ensure that council members are equipped with skills and knowledge to
successfully keep and care the bees.

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