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Communal Milking Parlour Opens in Hillside, St. Thomas



#St.Thomas, November 11, 2023 – Small dairy farmers in Hillside, St. Thomas, and its environs can now milk their cows more efficiently and under improved hygienic conditions at the newly opened communal milking parlour.

The redeveloped facility, which was officially handed over by Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining, Hon. Floyd Green, in the Hillside community on Tuesday (November 7), enables farmers to carry out milking mechanically.

Pointing out that St. Thomas is home to more than 50 per cent of the nation’s small dairy farmers, who account for 53 per cent of the national amount of saleable fresh milk, the Minister said it is critical that these farmers be provided with the resources they need to operate effectively.

He noted that before the development of the parlour, farmers milked by hand outdoors and in temporary sheds and “even though they had those unfavorable conditions, they still managed to produce Grade A quality milk. Can you just imagine what will happen now with this new milking parlour?”.

“We expect that we will see further growth and advancement of our farmers. Today, we are unveiling not just a milking parlour but a clean, sanitary space that our farmers can utilise in the milking of their animals. Now more than ever we realise that the comfort of the cow is critical to the production of milk, and as such, this milking parlour will give a much more comfortable environment for cows to be milked in,” the Minister said further.

Noting that having proper storage and milking tools is also critical, the Minister said that the parlour will ensure that the farmers have all they need at their fingertips.

He informed that plans are in place to instal solar panels, which will result in energy savings. Furthermore, the Hillside parlour will benefit from one of five bulk storage tanks that have been ordered.

In addition to the milking parlour, the Ministry had previously handed over a mobile milking machine to the farmers of St. Thomas to help increase productivity.

Minister Green indicated that more of these machines have been ordered and will also benefit farmers in St. Ann.

A milking parlour is under construction in that parish.

The Minister said that the Jamaica Dairy Development Board (JDDB) continues to provide milk processing training and key hygiene and sanitisation workshops for farmers.

He lauded Serge Island Dairies, which is based in St. Thomas, for not only providing a consistent market, but for helping with the training of farmers and the development of dairy clusters.

For his part, Chairman of the JDDB, Dr. Derrick Deslandes, said that the communal milking parlour in Hillside is part of measures to “bring milk back to where it used to be”.

He pointed out that the facility is one of many to come as the JDDB is on a mission to reinvigorate the dairy industry and to have dairy farmers become more efficient and earn more money.

“We believe that if we introduce more technology into the sector, it will lead to an increase in production,” Dr. Deslandes said.

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Rihanna efforts for against climate change 



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

#Barbados, December 5, 2023 – Global pop star and business owner Rihanna called on Janet Yellen, US Treasury Secretary and Ajay Banga, World Bank Chief, to join the fight against climate change for communities most affected.

The Barbadian singer and businesswoman took to her twitter in June this year to confront the need for action from Yellen and Banga.

She said, “Hey @SecYellen & #Ajay Banga, will you join @miaamormottley and step up for communities hit hardest by climate emergencies? We need you to make bold commitments to finance & debt reforms.”

She continued to point out her efforts to help address the climate crisis with her Clara Lionel Foundation

“I address climate with @ClaraLionelFdn, now it’s your turn.”

The singer also put in here appeal, the link to ‘action platform’ organisation Global Citizen, which is campaigning for global financial reform to address the interconnected crises of climate change, hunger and inequity.

Mia Amor Mottley, the prime minister of Barbados, Rihanna’s home country, thanked Rihanna for her tweet, reports say, expressing that the Bridgetown Initiative is the “opportunity” that world leaders need to take.

Rihanna’s foundation, named after her grandparents, prioritizes climate resilience and climate Justice work and has donated millions in grants since being founded in 2012.

In fact, in 2019, after launching its Climate Resilience Initiative (CRI), to enhance emergency preparedness, it donated $1million in grants to The Bahamas, providing emergency food and medicine following Hurricane Dorian.

Also, last year, her foundation donated €13 million (USD$15 million) to the climate movement.

She said the donation to 18 climate justice organisations would contribute to seven Caribbean nations and the US, including the Climate Justice Alliance, the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Movement for Black Lives.

The grants, reports say, made in partnership with Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s StartSmall philanthropic initiative, target groups with female, LGBT, Black and Indigenous leaders given that because their communities are most at risk.

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NIC Hailed as Key Contributor to Food Security



#Kingston, December 5, 2023 – Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining, Hon. Franklin Witter, is commending the National Irrigation Commission (NIC) Limited for its invaluable contribution to agricultural productivity and food security in Jamaica.

Mr. Witter, who was addressing the agency’s 36th anniversary luncheon and long service awards ceremony on November 28 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston, said this significant milestone not only marks a journey of dedication and resilience, but also stands as a testament of the critical role of irrigation in the advancement of the agricultural sector.

He said that consistent and reliable irrigation service is critical to safe and abundant food supply.

“NIC is the standard bearer of the Ministry. It is heartening to see that the NIC operations are aligned seamlessly with the Ministry’s New FACE of Food initiative, which focuses on food security, agri-business, climate smart initiatives, and export expansion,” he noted.

Mr. Witter pledged the Ministry’s continued support and investment in the agency in the ongoing quest to safeguard the country’s food security.

“We must harness the power of modern technology …the NIC must be at the forefront of innovation and research. We need to invest in cutting-edge technologies and methodologies that optimize our irrigation systems and optimize our agricultural production,” he said.

Chief Executive Officer of the NIC, Joseph Gyles, in his remarks at the ceremony, said the NIC will be expanding its irrigation districts, increasing these from 16 to 19.

He noted that presently, the Commission produces over 60-million-cubic metres of water on an annual basis.

“As we navigate the future, we embrace automation and digitization and have accepted that if we are to survive in this global world sustainability must remain at the core of our operational ethos,” he said.

The NIC is mandated to manage, operate, maintain and expand existing irrigation schemes and systems established by the Government of Jamaica or by any department or agency, as well as to fix and collect the rates or charges for the use of such water systems.

The NIC maintains an island-wide presence through six district offices located in key irrigation areas.


Contact: Rochelle Williams

Release: JIS

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CARPHA Remembers Former PAHO Director Emeritus – Dr. Carissa Etienne as a “Tireless Advocate for Regional Solidarity”



Port of Spain, Trinidad. 01 December, 2023: It is with profound sadness and shock that I extend my deepest condolences to the family and friends, people of Dominica, the Caribbean Community and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), on the untimely passing of PAHO Director Emeritus, Dr. Carissa Etienne.

Dr. Etienne’s contributions to public health in the Americas were not only significant, but also transformative.  Her leadership and unwavering commitment to our Caribbean Community’s collective pursuit of healthier people, healthier spaces and a healthier Caribbean were a source of inspiration to many.  Dr. Etienne was a tireless advocate for The Americas’ regional solidarity, for she knew that was the only way to address the glaring inequalities that exist here.

She was the Director at PAHO for most of the life of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), and under her leadership, CARPHA graduated from the PAHO Biennial Work Programme (BWP) arrangement to having framework agreements.

PAHO funded many of the programmes that are difficult to attract support, like the Caribbean Regulatory System (CRS) and the Medicines Quality Control and Surveillance Department (MQCSD), which are important services for the Region to ensure the quality of medicines.  Under Dr. Etienne’s leadership, PAHO also funded non-communicable disease interventions, another area that does not attract large pots of funding, although the number one cause of deaths in the Caribbean region. 

During the Pandemic, CARPHA worked with PAHO to fund the downpayments to give 12 Member States access to COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX to the tune of US$2.6 million.

Dr. Etienne will be remembered as a true Caribbean lady who worked with great dedication and focus throughout the horrible COVID-19 period and right up to her last working day at PAHO.

During this challenging time, we pray that God will give strength to Dr. Etienne’s family, friends, and colleagues.  CARPHA cherishes the memories of her remarkable contributions to the well-being of individuals and communities throughout the Americas, but especially the Caribbean.

The CARPHA Executive Management and staff stand in solidarity with our Caribbean Community as we mourn the loss of a visionary leader. 


Dr. Joy St. John

Executive Director, CARPHA

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