When contemplating her career path as a youngster, Citerina Atkins did not have farming on her list of options, but three years into her journey as a member of the agricultural sector, she is now an advocate for embracing farming as a viable career.
The young co-founder of Gerty’s Agro-Produce tells JIS News that she started considering the alternative path of farming when she was approached by her cousin and now co-founder, Roike Campbell.
“My cousin presented the idea to me in 2018 and he showed me a young lady who was making strides and we started doing research and months later we decided on our first crop, and that was pumpkin,” she shares.
Shortly after embarking on her journey as a farmer, Atkins left her job at an insurance agency to pursue her new career full-time.
The New Hall, Manchester, resident says having recognised their lack of training in the agricultural field, they sought advice from organisations such as the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC).
Atkins is one of many young entrepreneurs who have received crucial business development advice and training from the JBDC to facilitate formalising and growing their ventures.
“From the beginning of my farming journey, the JBDC was one of the first entities I approached to get advice and I have been working with them, and they always pointed me in the right direction as to what I need to achieve success in my operations,” she says.