Spotlight On Youth Agri-preneurs

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GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands, Monday October 17, 2016 – Organizers are putting the final touches on preparations for the Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA), the region’s premier agriculture event, to be held in the Cayman Islands in exactly a week.

Ten young entrepreneurs will be exhibiting at the Youth Pavilion during the October 24-28 event.

Here’s a look at what some of them are doing:

Duhaje Jennings – Dada B’s, Jamaica

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Duhaje Jennings, owner of Dada B’s.

Duhaje Jennings has been making bees his business for nine years. And his aim is to make his bee production business, Dada B’s, one of the Caribbean’s largest agricultural producer and food manufacturer.

Jennings, whose business has 10 apiary sites, says his mission is to provide value-added agricultural products in response to a growing world-wide demand.

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He sees vast potential for expansion both locally and overseas.

“The current strategy is to increase production to take on larger markets,” he says.

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Most of the products are sold wholesale to middle men who supply hotels. The remaining products are sold to supermarkets and small shops.

 

Anastasha Elliot – Yaphene, St. Kitts & Nevis

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Owner of Yaphene, Anastasha Elliot.

Anastasha Elliot is owner of Yaphene, a modern apothecary and gourmet boutique. The business makes organic hair and skin care products using natural butters, oils, dried and fresh herbs.

Yaphene also creates fruit and vegetable jams, flavoured hot sauces, loose tea mixes, candles, herbal breads and novelty cakes and gourmet desserts.

Yaphene was created to provide a natural alternative to everyday hair and beauty products. Its vision is to become the premier natural beauty product producers on the island of St. Kitts. Elliot says the business’ mission is to create the most holistic product, integrating local natural herbal remedies.

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“We understand that more and more of our people are succumbing to diseases such as cancer, which studies are showing has its roots in many of the products we not only eat but also what we are putting on our skin and in our hair,” she says.

“Our mother once had cancer and she beat it by changing our eating habits, creating the products we use among other herbal remedies and she has been cancer free for over 20 years. With a success story such as that behind us, we have a natural impetus to create and to offer what we create to our people, so they too may be able to live a little greener, healthier…with at least once aspect of their lives as free from chemicals as possible. We are starting out selling locally first and plan to spread out throughout the region over the next years.”

 

Kellyann Allicot – Ibis Beauty Box, Barbados

Ibis Beauty Box is a modern, natural botanical skincare line and lifestyle brand that embodies the rich heritage of the Caribbean. The inspiration for Ibis Wellness Inc. stems from the indigenous and local Caribbean flora and the urge to create an extraordinary natural, organic and life style brand.

Allicot says her vision was to create a natural and pure skincare line and accessories that embody the rich heritage of the Caribbean’s traditional beauty and lifestyle regimens, while simultaneously reconnecting people back to nature. She believes this is needed to accomplish total well-being.

“The creation of the skincare line began with my own personal skin battles with eczema as my family and I suffered from the skin condition. The first concoction was formulated by blending natural indigenous herbs in my very own kitchen. The embryonic stage that gave birth to the modern botanical skincare line that exists today,” she says.

The name behind the brand was chosen to pay homage to the scarlet Ibis spotted on a rare occasion in St. Andrew, Barbados. Allicot believes it is a unique bird that exemplifies the magical beauty of the Caribbean and the healing powers the islands have to offer.

 

Jean-Sebastien Duvilaire – Tahomey, Haiti

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Tahomey is a food processing business that sells Haitian cacao and the spices that usually go with it, such as ginger and cinnamon. The business has been in operation for approximately three years.

Tahomey products are made in Abricot, and marketed mainly in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti.

According to owner Jean-Sebastien Duvilaire, the main collaborators in the business are farmers who are assisted in the pre-processing of the cacao. They, in return, to provide their best quality cacao to make the chocolate product.

“As the owner and chief chocolatier, I take responsibility for quality control,” says Duvilaire.

When questioned about plans for sustainability, Duvilaire said the key was in the quality of the product being offered and the way in which the environment is affected.

“Our work contributes to the value chain of cacao in Haiti and also encourages reforestation in our region which represents the first environmental concern in Haiti,” he says.

 

Graceson John – Big G’S Pepper Sauce, Dominica

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Graceson John and his products.

Big G’S Pepper Sauce specializes in flavoured pepper sauces, seasoning sauces and salad dressings. The business started in April 2014, creating and developing more than 21 different innovative and creative flavors of pepper, for example coconut, cinnamon, coffee and turmeric.

Owner Graceson John revealed that the business started to supply supermarkets in January of 2015 and also personal exports in the Caribbean. In the past two years, Big G’S pepper sauce has won numerous awards, namely the Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2015 and the Regional Start Up Entrepreneur Award 2015 in the Youth Business International Regional Awards.

“I choose this business because of my love and passion for cooking and I also major in agriculture science at the Dominica State College…I have also won a few cooking awards in the past, for example, the president’s dinner plate competition 2012 and 2013,” John says.

When asked what to expect from his exhibit at the CWA, he said patrons should be prepared to see the most innovative and creative flavoured pepper sauces in the Caribbean and also all-purpose sauces and seasoning sauces.

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