- About Us
- What We Do
- Millennium Development Goals
- Web TV
- Work With Us
- UN System
UNDP is helping people and their institutions develop their capacity to perform better, sustain that performance over time, and remain resilient during change. In Llandewey, in the parish of St. Thomas, Jamaica UNDP and USAID collaborate to enable the Rural Youth Employment project which is supporting a youth beekeeping group to launch its business in honey production. The group members have completed the theoretical part of training and are about to be equipped to advance in their practical skills. The Rural Youth Employment Project isa three year project implemented by the Scientific research Council (SRC) and supported by the UNDP and the United States Agency for International Cooperation (USAID).
Curzan and his nephew, Andrew, are the group leader and a young member of the Llandewey Beekeeping group respectively. They agreed to share with us their experience, opinions and expectations of the project.
Curzan Simpson is an active member of his community who has been trained in beekeeping and who is spreading the word about Apiculture to other younger people from Llandewey. His nephew Andrew has joined him in getting into beekeeping. "Beekeeping is one of those areas that allow flexibility - to work and have bees on the side. Bees allow you to do many things other than just the bees themselves. That gives you the interest also to get all the young people to be involved" stated Curzan.
Curzan is acting both as a coach in Beekeeping and mentor towards the youth of Llandewey. "I would have children who would have gone into the apiary with me, and they would feel very comfortable being there even if they get a sting, recognizing that after that , they have learnt something about the bees. It is a situation where they are able to get some money and income from it" Curzan stressed the importance for youth to be financially independent to face high poverty rates in rural areas of Jamaica "We want to make sure that we find them the way to be independent persons".
Both uncle and nephew believe in the business opportunities offered by Apiculture. "It is something that really assists you to be financially better. The bees work for you, as long as you keep them".
Both gave quick response to a question from Ms. Akiko Fujii, UNDP acting Resident Representative, on the trend of young people moving from the countryside to other areas of Jamaica and why they had decided to stay in the countryside. "Employment "answered Curzan, while his nephew added "Farming and beekeeping, as they are sources of employment that you might not find in the urban areas ...The rural area allows you to really work for yourself ".
The aim of the Llandewey Beekeeping group, of which Curzan and Andrew are a part, is to convert Apiculture and honey production into a sustainable business and income source. They are developing the skills, knowledge and experience they need to improve their lives The Rural Youth Employment Project (RUYE) officially started in January 2010 andwill end in December 2012. It specifically targets young persons in the rural parishes of Manchester, Trelawny, St. Ann and St. Thomas aiming to improve the quality of life of disadvantaged youths aged 15-29 in rural Jamaica. The project seeks to strengthen rural youths' capacity to capitalize on income generation opportunities in a sustainable manner through profitable agricultural or agro-processing enterprises.
The Beekeeping Group in Llandewey, St. Thomas is one of the RUYE project's initiatives. The group is focused on generating an enterprise specialized in Honey production. The general mechanism applied by the project is forming a group focused in an agricultural area following specific selection criteria . The project provides theoretical and practical training after which group members receive the required professional equipment. In this way group members are enabled with both knowledge and tools to start their business. The Llandewey group has 40 members, 36 youths and 4 adults. They have all received training in Human Relations and Business Development and were exposed to basic theoretical beekeeping practices in late 2010. The group will be receiving 200 beehives and 200 supers, during the month of June 2011 and will consequently receive further practical training in bee management. Approximately 20 youth from the group will participate in a four-day Certification course in Beekeeping and Honey Processing offered by the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries (MoA&F), Apiculture Unit at Bodles Agricultural Station, St. Catherine.
More information available on: