Thirty-five farmers from the Needham Pen Farmers’ Association in St. Thomas have received aid from a Digicel Jamaica Foundation grant. The $650,000 grant will aid the farmers in improving irrigation to combat insufficient water supply challenges at their farms. The grant is part of the Digicel Jamaica Foundation’s ‘20 for 20’ which supports not-for-profit organisations in the areas of health, education, social inclusion, sustainable livelihood and community safety.
The Needham Pen farmers are responsible for growing crops such as pak choi, cabbage, lettuce, callaloo, okra and cucumber. With support from the grant, Needham Farmers will be able to renovate the preexisting catchment area and purchase water tanks and irrigation hoses. Winston Scott, leader of the Needham Pen group, stated that the grant will significantly help local farmers. Scott went on to tell of the impact the grant will have on the community, “When I got the call it was a sense of relief to know that we can get somewhere in terms of improving the lives and livelihood of the farmers who depend on agriculture for their income.”