Inter: The American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture awarded two Jamaican farmers the titles of CARICOM’s Farmer of the Year and Young Farmer of the Year during the Week of Agriculture held in the Bahamas on 16th October, 2023.
The most spectacular inauguration ceremony of Caribbean Agriculture was attended by Philip Edward Davis, the Prime Minister of the Bahamas and ministers of agriculture from the countries that are part of CARICOM. Manuel Otero, the Director General of IICA, the heads of regional and international organizations, representatives of the private sector, academia and NGOs were also present at the event.
Peter McConnell was bestowed with the honour of Farmer of the Year. Along with that, Manuel Otero, Direct General, granted him a cash prize.
Peter McConnell of Trade Winds Citrus Limited, who is a part of the Jamaican agricultural enterprise and specializes in pineapple, citrus, sugar cane production, and state-of-the-art dairy farm, was felicitated with CARICOM’s Farmer of the Year 2023.
TWCL expanded their work from Tru-Juice and Fresh Juice-based brands to Dairy Farmers milk-based brands such as TruSHAKE, Tru-Milk, and Tru-Moo in 2020.
Diandra Rowe, the Managing Director at Abbey Garden Farm in Kingsland Manchester, was awarded as “Young Farmer of the Year”.
Diandra Rowe- a third-generation farmer, took the initiative to look after her family’s greenhouse farm and decided to bid goodbye to her successful corporate career after being exposed to farming throughout her entire life. .
Floyd Green, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining of Jamaica, congratulated both the awardees. The Minister added that it was a clean sweep for Jamaica. He also acknowledged the exceptional talent and dedication of the agricultural sector of Jamaica.
He also shed light on Jamaica’s important role in promoting the agriculture sector all over the Caribbean. He stated that these awards are not just the primary achievements, but highlight the dedication and innovative skills of their farmers. He added that the growth in the agriculture sector is a sign of a brighter future.
“Jamaica’s agriculture is not about producing food; it is more about nurturing the dreams of their youth, sustaining their environment and driving economic prosperity of their nation,” remarked Floyd Green.
Manuel Otero, the Director General of IICA, also congratulated the winners and expressed his gratitude that farmers are acknowledged at the highest platform of CARICOM.
He also added that IICA is a founding member of CWA, and they pledged their continued support to the CARICOM Secretariat and Member States to ensure that premier agricultural events continue to excel year after year.