More than 200 Jamaican farm workers depart for Canada

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Jamaican farm workers at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security on East Street in Kingston on January 3, 2020 - Ricardo Makyn photo

A total of 228 workers departed Jamaica Friday morning for Canada to participate in the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Programme (SAWP).

The SAWP, a part of the Ministry of Labour’s Overseas Employment Programme, recruits workers who are engaged in planting fruits and vegetables, greenhouse flowers and vegetables, tobacco as well as working in factories, nurseries, and orchards.

The workers will be engaged for eight months.


Speaking at the brief ceremony at the Ministry’s offices on East Street in Kingston, State Minister Zavia Mayne urged the participants to be good ambassadors for Jamaica.

“Always remember that whether or not you are on or off the job you are representing your country and so you should behave in a dignified and professional manner at all times,” he said.

He also encouraged the workers to keep connected to their families.

“I implore you to maintain contact with your family while you are overseas, in particular, the children. When they can speak with you on a regular basis, it reassures them that even though you are far away for the time being, it is not that you have forgotten them. In order to help to assist in maintaining the family bond, the Ministry has established a service that will help to cushion the impact of your absence,” Mayne said.



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