WUSC Caribbean, under its Sustainable Agriculture in the Caribbean (SAC) Project has
introduced a new ‘FarmHER’ interview series, which aims to promote and strengthen
climate-resilient agriculture in the Caribbean.
The introduction of the FarmHER series is in line with WUSC Caribbean’s mandate to break the bias in agriculture for women and to facilitate discussions surrounding women’s participation in sustainability and climate change.
FarmHER is a series of social media LIVE knowledge-sharing interviews that are part of
WUSC’s five-year Sustainable Agriculture in the Caribbean (SAC) project, funded by the
Government of Canada and implemented in five Caribbean countries: Dominica, Guyana,
Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Suriname.
Through the project WUSC Caribbean is working to enhance equitable economic prosperity for women and youth through inclusive, sustainable, and climate-resilience agricultural market systems.
The inaugural episode of FarmHER featured Latoya Rattray, a Clarendon, Jamaica based
farmer who produces sweet corn, yellow yam, scotch bonnet pepper, and sweet potato.
Rattray, who has been farming for over two years shared her experiences in navigating the
She also highlighted some valuable lessons and best practices learnt. She advised
women who want to work in agriculture to be strategic in their approach to targeting and penetrating their market, securing funding, logistics, and record keeping.
Rattray also shared some of the challenges she faced as she encountered bias and
prejudice within the sector, and underscored how hard work, tenacity, and determination
allowed her to stay afloat.
“There are some cultural biases when it comes to women in agriculture and some people don’t take you seriously because you’re a woman,” she emphasized, adding that “even financial institutions make it difficult for women to get involved in agriculture.”
Rattray is appealing to agriculture stakeholders, including financial institutions, to provide
better support for female farmers through increased funding.
“Just [the way] people can apply on their phones for a motor vehicle loan, farmers should be able to do the same for an agriculture loan. If it’s a case where you are concerned about your investment then allow us to show you that we have the resources,” she recommended.
Despite the challenges, Rattray remains committed to farming and encourages young
farmers, especially young women, to remember the significance of service above self. “It’s
not about you. It’s about the people who work with you, your customers, and the people who depend on you to feed their families.”
She added, “When you feel like you can’t go anymore, think about the importance of the service that you’re giving.”
Meanwhile, WUSC Caribbean Jamaica Country Coordinator, Nelsa English Johnson,
encouraged farmers to embrace sustainable agricultural practices.
“Climate change is real, it’s happening but there are so many ways we can safeguard our agriculture industry.”
She is encouraging farmers to move towards the practice of ‘zero waste,’ encouraging them to look at how they can utilize their waste in a way that is beneficial to the environment.
WUSC Caribbean plans to continue initiatives like FarmHER to address gaps and challenges faced by women and youth in the sector and promote climate-resilient agriculture for economic growth in the Caribbean.
Source: WUSC Caribbean