Many community-based social enterprises are benefiting from the Scientific Research Council (SRC) Community Development Programme that aims to empower persons to transform local materials into usable products to maintain a sustainable livelihood.
This is according to Community Development Coordinator Yanique Rodgers, who said the SRC has a wealth of knowledge that is an asset to the enterprises.
“We (SRC) have a wealth of knowledge and experience in several areas specifically related to agro-processing, and we know that a lot of community-based social enterprises are involved in these areas. So, we are here to help them to move their businesses from the smaller scale to larger scale industries, depending on what their needs and their desires are,” Rodgers said.
Training is available in food processing to manufacture jams, jellies, sauces, wet seasonings, and natural juices. The training also covers the manufacturing of personal care products, such as soaps, body wash, and lotions.
Rodgers noted that the SRC facilitates ongoing training of this nature with community groups throughout the year.
“This is a big incentive for the community groups. We do not charge for these training sessions. However, we do ask that the community groups provide the venue, raw materials, and equipment, and we will go to them and train them,” she said.
How to get started
Interested persons are encouraged to contact the SRC by email at [email protected] for details on how they can participate.
In March of this year, members of the Port Antonio Baptist Church in Portland benefited from the initiative over two days, receiving training in formulating mango squash and June plum juice.
The workshop entailed theory and practical sessions, good sanitation and hygiene practices, juice preservation, equipment, packaging, and labelling.
The SRC is the agency of the Ministry of Science, Energy, Telecommunications and Transport that is mandated to foster the development of scientific research, serve as a repository of scientific information, and facilitate the development, application, transfer, and improvement of the technology of such research for the country’s benefit.
It also serves as an enabler in the creation of new industries and supports technical processes with stakeholders.