A feature on INMED’s aquaponics program aired on TVJ News (the most-watched news program in Jamaica) last week, generating a wave of interest from viewers. Over the last few years, INMED Caribbean has been installing the innovative system of farming to provide fresh produce, skills development and income generation opportunities for individuals with disabilities, incarcerated youth and schools. One of the systems was installed at Jacob’s Ladder, a residential facility of the Mustard Seed Communities for adults with physical and mental disabilities in Moneague, Jamaica.
Denyse Perkins, the administrator of Jacob’s Ladder, has first-hand experience with the challenges in supporting the residents of this community. As a charity organization, Jacob’s Ladder—along with all Mustard Seed Communities—relies on donations to maintain proper living conditions, including food and other essentials.
With INMED’s help and training, Jacob’s Ladder installed an aquaponic system, which combines fish farming with soilless crop production. It creates a way to farm and harvest crops that are both climate-smart and cost-efficient, providing income and a steady food supply for the community. It also serves as a tool for building skills and self-confidence among Jacob’s Ladder’s residents. “What we’re trying to do is have them participate, those that can,” says Perkins. “It brings them to their fullest potential and gives them things and a sense of self-worth.”
The residents of Jacob’s Ladder are encouraged to help maintain the system and its crops, giving them daily activities to take part in, as well providing them with a sense of independence. This system is also well suited to allow people with disabilities the opportunity to generate income.
Aquaponics has given peace of mind to this vulnerable community by offering a consistent and nutritious diet. And thanks to resources INMED provided, residents have gained a new sense of pride, knowing that the work they put into the system makes a powerful impact in their community. For more information on INMED aquaponics in Jamaica, visit https://inmed.org/what-we-do/changeadaptive-agriculture-and-aquaponics/jamaican-adaptive-agriculture-program/