Horace Hines, general manager of JN Money Services (JNMS), lauded seasonal agricultural workers for their contributions in helping to build economic activities in their communities and the wider Jamaican economy through the remittances they send home, annually.
He was addressing seasonal agricultural workers, also called farm workers, during a link-up session mounted by The Jamaica National Group, at the St. Elizabeth Technical High School in Santa Cruz, St. Elizabeth, on February 10. The link-up session was also used to inform farm workers about the special loans, insurance, money transfer and small business products that was specifically developed by JN Group to meet their needs while in Canada and Jamaica.
“Many of you participate in the programme annually and remit funds to assist your families and make various investments. In fact, the Bank of Jamaica has revealed that Seasonal Agricultural Workers remit more than $1 billion annually. Therefore, your contribution to the Jamaican economy is vital,” he stated.
Mr Hines added that, “When those funds arrive in Jamaica, they not only facilitate the day-to-day needs of your immediate families, they also fund the economic activities of: shopkeepers, construction workers, taxi operators and other services. And, it is through your hard work that many members of your immediate communities are able to conduct their business.”
The general manager of JNMS, owners of the popular JN Money brand, emphasised that more than 9,000 Jamaicans work in Canada each year as part of the programme. He commended the agricultural workers for their sound financial decisions, such as planning for home ownership, the education of their children and their own retirement.
“Many of you are investing in various ventures and this is good. We commend you for supporting your families, planning for your retirement and urge more farm workers to
do so,” he stated, imploring them to be good ambassadors for Jamaica and their families while they are overseas.
“I also urge you to avoid negative activities that could tarnish your reputation, or negatively impact your chances to continue in the programme. The Ministry of Labour informs us that the waiting list is long and as one person drops out there is another waiting to take up that slot. Therefore, I implore you to be good ambassadors, so that you can continue to participate in the programme,” he advised.
Nugent Robinson, an agricultural worker, who has been participating in the programme since 1996, welcomed the advice from Mr Hines.
Mr Robinson said, “We welcome your information and advice. Many of us are aware of how things are, in terms of what we can do for the Jamaican economy. Over the years, farm workers overseas take care of our families, save for home ownership; and, now many of us are planning for our retirement.”
The Jamaica National Group Seasonal Farm Workers Link-up sessions are slated to take place across several parishes. The sessions will introduce the farm workers to special offers from The Jamaica National Group and provide them with financial advice and guidance. JNMS is the lead company in this initiative, with support from other JN Group member companies, including: JN Bank, JN Small Business Loans, and JN General Insurance Company. The next link up session will be held in Clarendon at Clarendon College in Chapelton on March 3.