Two Government ministries are to launch a programme targeted at workers operating informally in household services, and the agriculture and fisheries sectors to aid their transition to the formal economy. The programme titled ‘Support the Transition to Formality in the Household Services, Agriculture and Fisheries Sectors in Jamaica’, will be funded by a US$500,000 grant from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and aims to transform 100 registered farmers into formal operators and develop a model that will enable them to move along the micro, small and medium-sized continuum.
The two ministries are industry, investment and commerce; and agriculture and fisheries.
The Jamaica Business Development Corporation and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority, as agencies of both ministries tasked with business development and technical support of farmers, will lead the initiative on the ground.
The ILO will also research the impact of COVID-19 on the target groups as well as on activities in the formal economy and will provide technical support.
Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister Audley Shaw thanked the ILO for its technical and financial support, noting that the programme “can be a major point of departure for increase productivity and wealth creation in Jamaica”.
“One of the problems with informality is that it predisposes operators to a lack of access to finance, as well as other resources such as technology, that can make them more productive. This project is, therefore, a significant element that can lead to a major transitioning of the Jamaican economy,” Shaw said during a virtual meeting of representatives of the ILO and both ministries last Friday.
Both ministries will work with the ILO on the preparatory aspects of the programme with a view to kick-starting the 12-month intervention by January 2021.
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