SRC empowering communities
Prof Errol Morrison (left), director general, NCST and chairman of the Scientific Research Council highlights the benefits of science and technology at a press launch held in observance of Science and Technology Month. Others from second left are: Dr Andrew Wheatley, minister of science, energy and technology; Dr Cliff Riley, executive director, SRC; and Roselyn Fisher, marketing and corporate communications manager, SRC.
MOST THINGS come at a cost these days as we exist in an era where the dollar is king. This period is driven by monetary exchange where very few services or goods are obtained without digging deep in our pockets. One St Catherine community, however, is an exception to this rule as they have been fortunate beneficiaries of the Scientific Research Council’s (SRC), Community Outreach Programme.
The SRC, in response to the capacity development needs of this community, offered free consultancy services on factory layout and design; equipment selection; training in juice processing; product development; good manufacturing practices and strategic marketing. This is a classic example of the SRC empowering communities to generate wealth through the application of science and technology solutions.
The Top Mountain Community group is now prepared to venture into the world of business.
The Top Mountain Community Development Committee had a history in juice production, but was never formally trained, which hampered its ability to optimise output.
The SRC, through the intervention of its community development coordinator Yanique Rodgers, Carolyn RoseMiller, market research officer, and Valmo Wynter, food technologist and team leader, product research and development was able to execute the requisite training and technical advice needed by the group. Their training was further enhanced through the development of a pineapple base juice formulation that was made available to the group free of cost.
With this formulation Top Mountain can exercise confidence in their juice production on a commercial scale. The formulation also ensures that good manufacturing practices are observed to maintain product quality. The SRC Community Outreach Programme has assisted several community groups from Portmore, Jacques Road, August Town, Trench Town and a number of school groups including 4H clubs.
Other groups across the island are scheduled to come on stream in short order. The Top Mountain group and representatives of adjoining communities that were trained have since improved on their juice products and have acquired more customers and profit as a result. With SRC’s intervention the Top Mountain group saved approximately $199,683 and is today armed with the necessary expertise to undergo production and successful marketing of their products.
The SRC is working with the Social Development Commission to identity promising community groups in need of assistance. The outreach programme is directly connected to the the SRC’s thrust to popularise science and technology with emphasis on its importance and impact on socio-economic development. The SRC is committed to utilising science, technology and innovation to assist MSMEs such as Top Mountain to build capacity and generate wealth. 1990 - Dr Lawrence Williams
1991- Dr Andre Gordon 1992- Dr Dan Ramdath 1993- Dr Dale Webber 1 9 9 4- Donna Lewis 1995- Max Wellington 1996- Dr Paula Tennant
1997- Dr Dwight Robinson
1 9 9 8 - Timon Waugh
1 9 9 9 - The Project, UTech Students Information Kiosk
2000 - Dr Marcia Royes
2001 - Dr Lyndon Johnson
2 0 0 2 - Dr Andrew Wheatley
2003 - Dr Maxine Gossell-Williams
2004 - Dr Mishka Stennett
2005 - Dr Michael A. Taylor
2006 - Dr Cliff Riley
2007 - Seymour Webster
2010 - Dr Simone Badal 2012- Dr Charah Watson 2014- Dr Nadale Riley