JP Farms, a subsidiary of Pan Jamaica Group and a prominent producer of high-quality tropical foods has expanded its philanthropic efforts in St. Mary through a new partnership with the Richmond Farm Adult Correctional Centre (RFACC) in the parish.
This collaboration aims to support the RFACC’s Piggery Unit by providing a weekly donation of 1400 lbs of banana farm by-products from JP Farms. The donation is projected to reduce the unit’s feeding costs for over 100 pigs by at least 30%.
The Richmond Farm Adult Correctional Centre is renowned for its farm-based institution, which includes an agriculture program featuring the Piggery Unit. This program plays a crucial role in the vocational and life-skills training activities at the centre, aligning with the National Rehabilitation Strategy’s focus on equipping inmates with the necessary skills for successful reintegration into society.
During a recent tour of the RFACC by the JP Farms team, Demain Edwards, Farm Manager at RFACC, highlighted the challenges faced by the Piggery Unit due to the rising cost of feed during the pandemic. He explained, “We typically feed pigs with concentrated feed that consists of specific proportions of protein, carbohydrates, and other nutrients. The increasing price of feed has posed many challenges for us at the RFACC.”
The agriculture program at the centre promotes self-sufficiency, encouraging inmates to participate in producing and consuming their food. It includes raising chicken layers, broilers, goats, rabbits, and crops.
Mario Figueroa, General Manager of JP Farms, expressed the company’s commitment to supporting the RFACC’s efforts in rehabilitation and self-sufficiency.
He said: “As a natural part of our quality selection process, we have bananas that are too scarred or damaged to be sold. We typically repurpose these fruits and by-products as organic fertilizer, but we are happy to allocate a portion to assist with the good work happening at Richmond Farm. We support the centre’s push for education and rehabilitation, as it will ultimately have an impact on all of us in society.”