Jermaine Black, who is fast becoming the poster boy for youth in agriculture, has added two pigs – a male and a female – to his farm.
They are the latest indication of how he spent a donation, which he received on May 22 after The Beacon reported his relatively big loss to theft.
The 29-year-old farmer previously used a portion of the donation to purchase a water tank, which he said will store a maximum 800 gallons of the precious commodity for farming purposes.
Black, who is from the Linstead area of St. Catherine, indicated that it was important for him to have something substantial to remind himself of the donation. He also wanted to inspire other young farmers, and to show donors that he did not squander the funds.
Three philanthropists, who live in the United States, donated just over JA$100,000 after reading the story about the farmer recently losing 10 goats to theft. Black, who said the stolen goats were valued at JA$183,000, also lost a portion of his crops to drought conditions.
The tank he bought will not only store water for the crops; it will also be useful to the pigs.
With the dry spell continuing to affect the Linstead area, Black is now trying to raise funds to purchase water to fill the tank. He is also seeking a deep freezer amid plans to further expand his farm.
Black, who underscored the importance of having more young people in agriculture, urged Government to exert more effort in helping aspiring farmers.
“Farming is my only choice and I just want the government to focus more on young people so they can come into the farming. Without farming, we can’t live,” Black told The Beacon.
He also reiterated that he is grateful to the people who support farmers – including those who give donations. The donors who helped him are Dr. Rupert Green, and Linval Taylor along with his wife Menervah.
Black, a registered farmer with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), previously explained that he started farming when he was a student at Ewarton High School in St. Catherine. He was inspired by his step-father, who also was a farmer.
Black turned to farming full-time due to his struggle to find stable employment.
He explained that he, at one point, got a job with China Harbour Engineering Company when that firm was building the Edward Seaga Highway. That job was a fillip for his turning point.
“I wasn’t satisfied with the situation. I would go to work today; tomorrow was not sure. So, I stop and say to myself that it is best if mi goh duh farming,” Black explained. “I don’t need a next work now. Farming is all I need to do. I really love animals and plants. They motivate me the most.”
By Horace Mills, Journalist
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