+ FEASIBILITY STUDY +
FOOD PREPARATION OUTLET
IN WEST KINGSTON
SPrepared by : Sonja T. Harris
Cultural Devt. Institute
For: Population Council
Acknowledgement: This innovative study, made possible by a
small grant from the Population Council, and by the kind
cooperation of Mrs. Alicia Taylor of the Urban Development
Corporation, is a singular achievement in participatory
research in Jamaica. Its achievement is in large measure
due to the Salt Lane participants themselves, who treated
their development process as one they could delicately
entrust to us, and to their own best desires for themselves.
Our appreciation also goes to: Ms. Cecelia Logan who
assisted in supervising the entire research project and
whose coordination of loose ends was invaluable; to Dr. L.
Semaj who participated in the research design; and to Mrs.
Barclay whose quiet creativity in fruit drying in Manchester
and willingness to share her knowledge with others, may well
lead to new horizons for Jamaican women.
And to Dr. Patrick Chin, Mrs P. James and Mrs. O. Wills
- we say there may be many more teachers like you in
Jamaica and the world, but we'll start with you!
Cultural Devt. Institute
The area in West Kingston commonly known as the Salt
Lane area actually comprises some four narrow streets.
Houses in the area are small old wooden structures, built in
a quadrangle effect with a common yard. As many as five
families or twenty five persons can live in one yard,
conveniently, but not comfortably. "Yard" culture has its
own unique features and social processes. Bathroom, kitchen
and washing facilities are often shared in a yard.
Chronic adult unemployment, male and female is dealt
with through an intricate system of hustling or informal
trading of mostly imported garments and household
appliances. Vocational skill level is relatively low, and
unlike many rural communities, resource skills are
unavailable, except for one dressmaker.
The area once historic by Jamaican standards has lost
all of its former prestige and grandeur. The greatest
single effect of the 1940-60's rural/urban migration trend
in Jamaica can be seen in the Salt Lane Community, where the
constant overcrowding has led to its rapid deterioration.
Where Salt Lane was once the training ground for recognized
artists, politicians and professionals, it is now a dubious
haven for "revivalists" groups; political party loyalists;
and itinerant criminals.
While the families still there are as wholesome and as
varied as any in Jamaica, their lives are plagued not just
by physical degradation, but physical abuse within the
family (of which the women are often the victims) and at
times violent attacks from people outside of the community.
Out migration, especially to U.K. and North America, is
still perceived as a valuable and necessary escape route.
It is the women who are more trapped by these
conditions and by household and family responsibilities.
While the men can 'hustle' for spoils outside of the
community, the women's sphere of influence beyond the home,
extends to the nearby markets where they get food daily as
cheaply as possible, for their families.
The Coronation Market is the single most important
centralized collection and distribution point for farm
produce in Jamaica. It has played a significant role in
safeguarding especially the Salt Lane people's survival.
The market prices, lower than most other markets, are
supported by an abundance of fairly high quality vegetables,
fruits and grains. The physical conditions of the market
represent a small health hazard, especially with regard to
sanitary facilities and personal security. Women and their
children sometimes sleep in the market, creating another
complex in the social order.
The families comprising of approximately two hundred
persons in this area have been targeted by U.D.C. for
relocation to nearby Tivoli Gardens, where high rise
buildings have replaced the squalorof the area, formerly
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known as "Back 'o' Wall." U.D.C. also has plans under their
94 acre Market Development Scheme to upgrade the four
markets in the area.
The area was targeted for action research on behalf of
U.D.C./Population Council of N.Y., to determine the
trainability in specific skills of young women and mothers
of large families in the area.
Seven women have been selected by the Cultural
Development Institute (the organisation assigned the
research study) from an original twelve identified during
the pre-feasibility phase in early 1982.
An 8th member of the group dropped out after attending
the first session. A potential 9th member never attended.
At the recommendation of the U.D.C. Committee, an older
woman was included in the group. None of these women have
ever held formal employment.
The group, except for the older member, had previous
project experience at the Bureau of Women's Affairs, through
an Elders and Youth Program, designed and initially
implemented by the Principal investigator of this study.
They were closely associated with that training and
development program for the latter four months in 1982 and
loosely affiliated with the Bureau in 1983.
CDI, in its evaluation of the Elders & Youth Program
conducted in August 1983, identified that this Salt Lane
group could benefit from specialized training in order to
facilitate their professional development and prepare them
to manage their own independent business. They did however
exhibit a type of dependency on the Program Coordinator
(myself) when they were to move into each new development
phase, which is a factor working against their eventual
A Profile of the group follows Table 1
SOCIAL PROFILE ON PARTICIPANT GROUP
MEMBERS IN HOUSEHOLD
DPR'A. T rDATTTC
1. B.D 28 yrs. (4) Son 11 yrs. $10 per mo. 9th grade &
c.l. husband- 28 yrs. dressmaking
unemployed & Jamal
2. Pepper 25 yrs. (6) Self $8 per mo. 8th grade &
(now 7 mos. 4 chr. age 2-10 Jamal program
pregnant) c.l. husband- 26 yrs.
3. Tessa 18 yrs. (6) Self $20 per mo. llth grade
c.l. Spouse- employed Sat the Ja.
as apprenticed Welder School Cert.
daughter 10 months
sister-29 yrs.- unempl.
niece 9 years
niece 2 months
4. Ms. 50 yrs. (6) Self $21 per mo. 5th grade
Pearl c.l. husband- unempl.
3 nieces 8-14 yrs.
1 nephew 7 years
5. Doreen 21 yrs. (6) Self $12 per mo. 8th grade
3 Children ages 2-7yrs
c.l. hunsband- 27 yrs.
employed in bakery
Aunt 83 yrs.- sells
at home (vendor)
6. Sonia 27 yrs. (4) Self $12 per mo. 10th grade
c.l. husband 28 Secretarial
years employed raising & Hair-
2 sons 7 & 5 yrs. Course
7. Juliet 25 yrs. (9) Self $60.00 9th grade
mother 42 Cook per year
in Coronation Market lease
3 sisters 21, 19
& 15 years unemployed
2 brothers 12 & 17
3 sons 1, 4 & 7 yrs.
c.l. spouse 27 yrs.
4 of 7 participants started having their children as teenagers.
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The Objectives of this study were to determine:
(1) the feasibility of producing and marketing
dried fruits, vegetables, and a baked snack
(2) The trainability of this special group in
the skills of baking and fruit drying and
in the skills needed to manage their own
(3) The social and economic feasibility of
developing such an industry in this
particular urban locale.
Research Structure & Approach
A total of one hundred and fifty six interviews were
conducted by the participants under the guidance of C.D.I. The
breakdown of questionnaire types is as follows:
30 interviews with market vendors
22 interviews with distributors including
49 interviews with youths (age 13-18) in
34 interviews with children under 13 years
21 interviews with parents
All the interviews were conducted in the urban area designated
as the Kingston Metropolitan Area (K.M.A.) i.e. Kingston, St.
Andrew & St. Catherine.
The approach decided on for the broad survey was as
selective sampling with participatory observations
from the entire group
participatory research where data was constantly
fed into the process through the seven
participants' own knowledge and observations,
and by the responses of their families
non-participatory observations especially by the
three C.D.I. Coordinators when participants
The Participatory Research approach was determined based
on the group's willingness to be guided by me, because of the
trust established from the time of our former relationship.
Their faith in my associates abilities to also guide them was
evident in their 100% attendance at all sessions.
In the participatory approach used in this research study,
myself, another C.D.I. Director Steve McDonald, and Principal
Research Officer C. Logan, functioned as participating
Managers, i.e. as Trainers/Facilitators, and as co-participants
in the data-gathering process.
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The Research strategy involved C.D.I.'s training the seven
participants to function as Research assistants. In this way,
we assumed much more responsibility than the study required,
but have more precise indicators as to Objective 2 (above).
A. Overview of Activities
A total of twenty seven sessions were held with the group
from mid September to mid December 1983, as follows: (This
excludes planning and design time by C.D.I.).
8 Sessions in Interviewing and group building
1 Session Pre-test
3 Sessions in Preliminary Data Collection
1 Session in rural parish collecting dried
5 Sessions conducting final survey
4 Sessions in Training/Assessment on building
solar dryer with Dr. Chin
2 Sessions with Mrs. P. James, assessing baking
2 Sessions on training/assessment in fruit
drying with Mrs. O. Wills
1 Final Review/Evaluation Session
1 Outing/Picnic to Castleton Gardens is to take
place in February '84
B. Selection of Resource Persons
The sensitive nature of the professional or
teacher/low-income student relationships in Jamaica, steeped as
it is in generations of class prejudice, made us particularly
careful in our selection of resource people. The success of
the entire project is due in large part to these trainers
positive approach to the training exercise and their attitude
to the groups.
These specially selected persons reflect a sense of
security within themselves, as teachers and as models, who
value imparting bias-free information. Our orientation with
them, prepared them well to work with a special group of urban
women, where the relationship established was as important as
the skills imparted.
C. Development of Ouestionnaire
This was another sensitive part of the Research Process.
Five types of questionnaires were developed.
The task essentially involved translating the
questionnaires, especially the market and street vendor ones,
into a language and style commonly used in Jamaica. This
incorporation of a popular cultural form in the survey process
was necessary to ensure that interviewers understood the
questions and the purpose of the study.
The participants contributed fully to these exercises and
in the practice sessions with each other, made several
clarifying suggestions, so that two sets of questionnaires for
Distributors and Suppliers were designed.
Questionnaires for children, young adults and parents were
left in standard form, with the option to translate questions
SURVEY DATA FINDINGS
A. Pre-Test/Phase I
Pre-testing was conducted in the first phase of the study
(September 1983) in three of the four markets in the targeted
Four participants were assigned to the markets to get
information on the range, availability and prices of fruits and
vegetables. This assignment was done without a structured
questionnaire, but following specific guidelines which we
established together. The participants handled this task
confidently, and data gathered from the markets indicated a
fair supply of fruits then in season.
The other three participants were assigned the task of
researching available space for the baking exercise, from among
the schools in their area. This group was insecure at the
prospect of dealing with "authority" persons such as school
Principals, on their own, but carried through on the task, and
were able to report on information received.
In this way, the early involvement of the group was
assured in their own research process, and the fact that the
areas of responsibility had to be mutually shared, was
demonstrated to the group.
This first phase could be characterized in the following
(1) Strong motivation and high energy in
(2) Positive response of group to reward/
reinforcement i.e. payments made on a
performance scale for tasks accomplished.
(3) An early point of "engagement" i.e. a
clearly expressed feeling of control over
project resources. For example, participants
challenged a reference I made in session 3 to
"if the project activity continues. ." by
saying that "even if B.D. the 'leader' -
left the island, (they) would continue;
nothing would stop (them)".
(4) A sharpening of observation skills in social
dynamics, e.g. in the market with which they
were well familiar.
(5) A shift from the former "trainee" role to a
genuine associative role, marked by mutual
demands and reciprocal obligations.
(6) A strong motivation to respond to our
demands for punctuality and excellence in
B. Preliminary Survey Phase II
This was started in October and aside from "testing out"
the questionnaire, served as a means of providing rapid
experiential training to the group in the field and obtaining
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vital information early on the feasibility of the enterprise.
All five categories of respondents were interviewed.
This phase II which also involved building the solar dryer
could be described as follows:
(1) Intense absorption of new experiences
and new data by the group. Their
familiar environment took on new dimensions
and proportions; A period marked by new
psychological insights and growth; A
sense of animation in the field.
(2) Greater sensitivity to their own feelings
e.g. of tiredness, after a day of
interviewing and an increasing ability
to monitor and explain social and
psychological energy fluctuations and
(3) Manifestation of more honest and varied
group behaviour and needs, forcing
changes on their internal network of
group loyalties and power dynamics.
(4) A high level of skill mastery in the
building component; a general weakness
in the cognitive area; a fluid self-
concept depending on the setting. E.g.
the confidence, and high self-esteem
demonstrated in interviewing young
children, or adults from their own
neighborhood, contrasted with displays
of regression (thumb-sucking) or
insecurity when their writtenperformance
was reviewed or when business people were
C. Final Survey/Phase III
In November to December, the final broad survey was done.
Concurrent with this activity was the Training/Assessment in
Baking and Fruit Drying. The Research Supervisor had most of
the responsibility for supervising their final data collection
exercise, which lasted for one week.
The data was adequately collected, although the quality of
their work in this last phase was not at an incrementally
higher level than the work done earlier.
Phase III was characterized by the following :
(1) a more honest projection by the group
of needs, strengths, weaknesses. Open
expressions of competitiveness,jealousy,
resentment and need for support/recognition,
marked this period.
(2) an interesting shift in the power dynamics
within the group, where the two "weakest"
members developed at a disproportionately
rapid rate, ending up on par with the
stronger ones in the areas of motivation,
self-confidence and skill-mastery. This
led to an implied questioning of B.D.'s
role as "leader", and an increasing
attempt on her part to more tightly
control her best friend within the group,
when her control over the others did not
seem as assured.
(3) a significant consolidation of the group
process; a tearful last "encounter"
session, where hidden controversies within
the group surfaced, and a more honest
working process emerged.
(4) a willingness to claim as their own the
small achievements of the study process as
well as the larger successes.
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SURVEY DATA FINDINGS
1A. Summary on Preliminary Survey Suppliers
The market selected for the preliminary survey was Papine
Market in the "uptown" area of Kingston, where prices are
much higher than downtown.
6 vendors were interviewed 1 male; 5
They all come from the nearby hills of
St. Andrew above the market site.
one 19 years; one late 20's;
3 were between 30-40 years; one 46-60
years (47 years).
4 were single and 2 married.
4 of the 6 had 21 children; two had none
i.e. an average of 3.5 children to the
6 respondents or 5.25 to the 4 persons
who actually had children.
3 (50%) were in the market for the full
week and the other 3 for half-week. They
do not sleep in the market.
5 were higglers i.e. they buy from
farmers and sell in turn; and one was a
Supplies of up to 50 lbs. of desired
items were agreed on, as possible, per
vendor at last weekly.
Wholesale prices of 20% 50% less than
regular retail prices were offered by the
vendors, once a regular buying pattern was
Some 25% 50% of certain fruits have to
be sold off cheaply every few days, because
of easy spoilage.
3 of the 6 knew of sources of supply directly
All 6 said they were satisfied with their
5 of 6 belong to either Zion; Seventh Day
Adventist or Church of God religious groups,
all close to the fundamentalists or revivalist
churches. It is not unusual to see "church"
services held in the market, laced with much
drumming, tambourines, singing and 'getting
into the spirit."
The collectionof this data went smoothly, as all three
Coordinators accompanied the group and demonstrated when
necessary the patient approach needed to encourage market
vendors to cooperate with an 18 point questionnaire. Market
vendors are traditionally a suspicious and abrasive group of
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women, whose basic drive is to ensure that no one gets the
better of them in the trade. Each interview with a market
vendor is considered a major accomplishment.
IB. Summary on Final Survey Suppliers
The Coronation Market was selected for the final survey.
24 vendors were interviewed 4 males;
They come from 9 parishes all across
the island: including 6 from St. Catherine;
4 from St. Mary and 3 from St. Elizabeth
among others. The latter is the most
distant parish from Kingston, of the parishes
represented. (The more westerly parishes -
Hanover, Westmoreland, St. James and Trelawny,
are not represented in the sample.)
11 of the 24 the major proportion, are
between 46-60 years; 4 between 30-45 years
and 7 between 20-30 years. One is over 60
years; one gave no response.
19 of the 24 respondents had 75 children;
4 had none and one gave no response. That
is an average of less than 3.24 children per
respondent or approximately 4 children per
respondents who actually have children.
Only one respondent had 11 children. The
majority had 6 or under.
6 or 25% are in the market for the full week
and the remainder for part-week. Sleeping
in the Coronation Market is a common feature,
though this pattern has been affected in
recent years by harassment from criminals.
15 of the 24 are higglers; 9 grow some or
all of their produce. (This is in contrast
to the street side vendors who are almost
Supplies of 50-60 lbs. of desired fruit or
vegetable are possible, per vendor.
Wholesale prices of 20-25% discounted, were
16 (67%) said they were satisfied with their
trade. The remaining 8 who are dissatisfied
(33%) feel they cannot do better. This
higher percentage of dissatisfied persons,
compared to the respondents from the 'uptown'
market, may be attributable to the lower
food prices and therefore lower profit margins
10 of the 24 knew of and shared information
on sources of supply i.e. farmers from whom
foods could be purchased directly.
14 of the 24 belong to organized religious
groups Seventh Day; Zionists; Baptists
and Church of God. The other 10 had no
religious beliefs or did not respond.
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Collecting this data was difficult for the participants,
as they had little supervision. It is at this stage that some
of the weaker ones showed greater initiatives and the stronger
ones lost confidence or diverted their attention to other
survey activities going on among the rest of their group.
While they did get adequate data, they were intimidated
about going into the market to confront resistant vendors, at a
time when pending elections were also creating tensions in that
The supply situation with regard to many choice fruits was
unreliable. Mangoes and apples were out of season and
pineapples, guava and June plums were in short supply. Ripe
bananas, papaya, watermelon and oranges are available year
Followed is the combined data on Market Vendors in
It can be seen from Table 2 that women had a higher
reported ratio of children than men, and a higher level of
satisfaction with their trade than men.
One large company Times Store and five street vendors
were interviewed in October '83. In December, five other
companies and eleven street vendors were surveyed for a total
of twenty two Distributors.
The combined data follows in Table 3.
The three companies that were familiar with dried fruits,
included two supermarket chains, and one pastry business, all
of whom have handled imported raisins, currants and prunes.
Companies interviewed gave tips on packaging and
recommended a selling price below the foreign price, in order
to be competitive. Supermarkets were also willing to try small
quantities of the dried vegetables (one sample pack available)
as well as fruit jams, supplied by Social Development
Commission Home Economics Officer associated with Tivoli
Centre. Their feeling was that the shelf life of the latter is
often not satisfactory when locally produced.
The dynamics among street vendors was quite different.
None had ever heard of or retailed dried fruits as a snack
(though they were familiar with raisins, prunes). The majority
liked the taste and would be willing to handle the product.
These vendors traditionally carry sweet biscuits; a variety of
junk food; and occasionally fresh fruits or cooked meats. The
Introduction of dried fruits to this sector would require a
systematic education program, and a strategy for them to accept
the product as more valuable; and as part of a national
industry and nutritional policy, than just any other "sweet"
Social Profile on Urban Market Vendors
Distributors' Response to Dried Fruits. N=22
Previous No Willing
Type of involv- Previous Liked Dis- to Un- Small Large
Distri- ment with Involve- taste liked Retail willing amt. amt.
butor. Product. ment.
6 3 3 5 1 6 3 3
16 16 15 1 14 2 13 1
Total Single Married / No. of Age of Respondents fled satis.
M & F Comn. Law Child. Under 20 20-29 30-45 46-60 Over 60 (67%) (33%)
F=25 10 15 88 1 6 6 11 1 19 6
M= 5 2 2 8 2 1 1 3 2
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In one case, vendors in front of one school, complained
bitterly of the hostility directed at them by the Principal of
the school, who punished students who attempted to buy from
them. The essence of this conflict seems to be economic as the
Sister was herself running an active canteen in the school and
wanted no competition. This situation is not unusual today,
and exists between other schools, and vendors.
Twelve parents were interviewed in October, mostly in the
Salt Lane area and nine in December in the "Uptown" area for
a total of twenty one.
Six of the 21 were fathers; one downtown and 5 uptown.
All downtown parents were unfamiliar with the concept of
dried fruits as a snack. Their usual snacks included:
Milk (with Milo)
Bun and cheese
Bread & Butter
Sugar and water
TYPICAL SNACK ITEMS of LOW-INCOME FAMILIES
The average downtown parent also thinks in terms of a
daily food bill, rather than a weekly one, indicating a
different approach to earnings and consumption based on their
more erratic social and economic reality. $10 is low average
for their daily food bill. For unemployed parents this has to
be hustled from somewhere each day. All downtown respondents
were accustomed to eating some fruits and vegetables regularly,
though there is prejudice against some greens, which is passed
on to their children.
The majority of downtown parents were in their 20's.
For the Uptown parents, their employment rate was higher,
though there is a built-in bias in this sample group, as some
uptown parents were interviewed at their workplace and all
downtown parents were interviewed in their community.
Only one of the uptown parents ever thought of or used
dried fruits as a snack for their children. The one parent who
said he would not buy the sampled product, as a snack, felt
that he would rather encourage the use of fresh fruits, but
would prefer dried fruits to sweet and would use the dried
fruits in baking cakes.
Socio-Econ Data & Parents' Response to Dried Fruits. N=21
Average Previous Use of
Type of Unem- Family Dried Fruit+Snack Liked Dis- Would Not
Parent Employed played Size Yes No Sample Liked Buy Buy
Low- 2 6 4.9 8 8 8 -
Income 11 2 3.8 1 12 12 1 12 1
4. Children 3 to 13 Years
Thirteen interviews were conducted in October and twenty
one in December a total of thirty four in this group.
Two Pre-schools and two primary schools all downtown, near
to the participants community, were selected for the survey.
Fourteen of the respondents are male and twenty female.
However, there was no data significance in responses by sex.
Table 5 summarizes this data.
One interesting feature of the child-rearing pattern
depicted above is that whereas the majority of the younger
children (64%) live with both parents, a similar majority (67%)
of older children live with a single parent. This may indicate
either a growing family instability as children get older or a
more serious attempt among young parents to raise children
This age group was the most discriminating in taste and in
their inclination to buy this "new" product. They favour ice
cream and biscuits for snacks, but their preferred snack is
fruits. Their taste could be adapted with an appropriate
educational approach and their sensitivity to interesting taste
combination could be constructively cultured to accommodate
local productivity and economy.
5. Young Adults/Youths (12-18 years)
Six Interviews were held in October and forty three in
December a total of forty nine interviews in this age group.
Two downtown and two uptown schools were selected, plus
one school in Spanish Town, St. Catherine. These three types
of schools provide a typical range of class and income
interests in the society the uptown schools being at the
higher end of the income scale.
Findings are followed in Table 6.
This age group prefers to eat sandwiches, bun and cheese
or bread for a snack, though when they were small they liked a
variety of fruits.
Junk food: chips, biscuits and sweet drinks are more
popular among the uptown students (40%) compared to the
downtown ones (25%). Uptown students also have more money to
spend than downtown ones and their favorite snack ("other")
includes ice-cream; pizzas; pastry; hot dogs and meat patties.
Whereas the favorite eating spot for uptown students is
the "Corner Shop" i.e. the specialized snack counters in the
Shopping Plazas, they, as do the downtown students (30% and 43%
respectively) also eat in the canteen. Only a small percentage
of both groups buy from street vendors as many schools do not
allow students to leave the grounds at break time, indicating
again the competition at many levels for the purchasing dollar.
Among those who would buy the dried fruits, many said they
would have them after meals; for dessert; use them for cake
TABLE 5 N=34
Children (3-13 years) and their Response to Dried Fruits
Type of LIVE WITH PREFERRED SNACK Liked Dis- Would Not
Respondent M&F M F Other Fruit Junk Other Sample liked Buy Buy
22 younger 14 7 1 16 2 4 18 4 17 5
3-6 years (82%)
12 older 4 6 2 7 1 4 8 4 7 5
7-13 years (66%)
Youths and their response to Dried Fruit Survey
Person Preferred Snack Amt. Spent Daily Liked Liked Favorite Snack Spot
Type of Influencing Would Not
Student Food Tastes Frts. Junk Other $1- $2- $3 + Buy Buy Can- Str. Crn. Home
M F Other Both 1.99 2.99 over Smpl. Smpl. teen Shop
town 12 2 2 2 4 10 3 7 4 13 3 7 3 4 2
Students= (75%) (25%) (62%) (25%) (18%) (43%)
Students= 24 2 2 5 5 13 15 4 13 16 30 2 10 5 18
33 (73%) (15%)(40%) (45%) (40%)(50%) (91%) (30%)
baking; or on special occasions.
At another comparative level, whereas no downtown student
mentioned being influenced in foods by both parents, (but
mostly by mother) 14% of the uptown students said that both
parents influenced their food tastes.
This age group are the greatest buyers and all the outlets
that they patronize could be approached for distribution of the
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A. Interviewing Skills/Confidence Building
Training sessions were held at the beginning of the
project to prepare the seven participants to conduct their own
survey. The intent was not to prepare them to become Research
Assistants, but to become comfortable with dealing with the
public at different levels.
Thus, training in building group-confidence by means of
interviewing training, was a major feasibility objective on
which we focused.
This need was easily identified in the group as many of
the group members doubted their abilities to function even in
areas where mastery had previously been achieved.
For example, we allowed participants to demonstrate
successfully to themselves in these "training" sessions that
interview techniques which demonstrated a sensitivity to the
interviewees' needs and concerns, would give them the most
fruitful responses and quite valuable and reliable data.
The reading and interviewing process was influenced, by a
degree of education plus age interaction. Their own poorly
perceived academic status made them feel professionally
insecure, less marketable as individuals, economically fragile
as a group.
Table 7 that follows indicates that age is a greater
factor in performance at either end of the continuum than in
the middle range. Education more than age has a positive
correlation with performance.
Another observation drawn from these exercises indicates
that excellent performance in one area e.g. J's reading
intricate crochet designs and making elaborate crochet items,
does not guarantee similar, carry-over performance in another
related cognitive skill area, if lack of confidence is a
factor. The relationship between insecurity and training seems
complex: insecurity motivates performance in "specialized"
manual skills but retards assertiveness in intellectual
B. Training/Assessment in Building Solar Dryer
Four sessions were held in assessing the group's
capabilities to build a solar dryer, guided by Dr. P. Chin who
had designed a simple and practical dryer, and his assistant
Mr. N. Thompson.
The overall rapport between the trainers and the group was
low-keyed, informal, but task focused and professional. The
class barriers which often prevent learning, were virtually
non-existent in this situation.
The working pairs/sub-groups involved in building the
frame, legs, trays and arms of the dryer interfered with the
pattern of tight social bonding that formerly existed, and
created new working dynamics and new compatability.
Whereas the acknowledged leader up to that stage performed
in a playful hasty manner, her peers were more task oriented,
Group Performance in Interviewing by Age
50 years 25 years. 28 & 21 28 & 27 18 years
old old years old years old old
1 1 2 2 1
participant participant participants participants participant
5th Grade 8th Grade 8th & 9th 9th & 10th llth Grade
Great Much Difficulty Some Little
Difficulty Difficulty Difficulty Difficulty
- 22 -
and by their excellent performance offered quiet challenge to
They viewed the assignment as difficult, as it was "man's
work" and made their muscles hurt, but they were obviously
challenged and their self-confidence grew significantly after
this exercise. J. was heard to remark to S. as they worked on
the frame together "S, now we can build our own bedl"
Their problem-solving skills were also tested when the lid
of the dryer did not fit properly. After some momentary
anxiety they worked on a solution with Dr. Chin.
This experience in building the dryer marked a change in
the behaviour of the group.
From a situation where only the older woman had had
experience in using a saw prior to that time, the group
members' self esteem rose proportionate to their contribution
to the completed task+to their mastery over the use of new
It is this experience that helped the group to look at
each other differently, and assess their own strengths against
each other. It is their achievements at this phase that
contributed to their having an intense but honest sharing of
feelings in the "last" session.
Dr. Chin's report is attached. See Appendix II,
C. Training/Assessment in Baking
Two sessions were held with Mrs. James, a Food and
Nutrition teacher at a local high school.
She used a practical rather than a purely theoretical
approach and demonstrated how to make the following, all of
which were new to the group.
Ackee (Jamaica's national fruit) and codfish patties
Cucumber Cooler/Pumpkin Cooler/Cho Cho Cooler
All of the above main ingredients are grown or produced in
Jamaica except for cod-fish which is imported from Canada and
which has been a staple in Jamaicans diets for hundreds of
The feasibility of this line of production was established:
(1) by sampling the finished product among the families of
each participant. The response, even from family members who
do not usually like ackees or ackee and codfish, was 100%
(2) by the group working out under Mrs. J's guidance, the
production costs for the patties and muffins and establishing a
reasonable (projected) profit margin.
(3) by the group's enthusiasm and desire to bake patties
on their own during the second session, creating a product that
matched Mrs. J's in tastequality and appearance.
The group also exhibited the following behaviour:
(a) a more than adequate retention of information
- 23 -
given them by Mrs. T.
(b) a smooth and complementary division of labour
within the working process.
(c) an enthusiasm about the products food being
a strong reinforcer for the Jamaican poor.
(d) some display of competitiveness to gain
approval from trainer.
(e) some display of insecurity/lack of confidence
while performing and being assessed in front
of the group.
Attached at Appendix III is Mrs. J's report.
D. Training/Assessment in Fruit Drying
There were two Sessions held in this fruit drying
component. The trainer Ms. Wills who teaches near to their own
community, is a soft-spoken motherly person.
The sessions involved long periods of boiling and stewing
of fruits and this lull in activity contributed to these
sessions being more low-keyed sessions.
Technically, the tasks involved are not difficult, and are
fairly routine. Participants came alive mostly at points where
tasting the fruits or placing the fruits in the dryer were
involved. Two participants remained actively involved in the
entire process along with Ms. Wills.
The mood in these sessions was affected also by some
external circumstances and indicates that all participants do
not have the same sense of goal directedness or energy level in
the face of pressures or interruptions.
Some of the factors contributing to an adequate but more
sober output level in these sessions, include:
(1) The reality of the "close" of project;
the pending "loss" of our supportive
stimulation; coupled with their own
weak motivational drives.
(2) The absence of the two Principal
Coordinators Sonja and Steve that week,
leaving most of the responsibility on
the group and on the Research Supervisor.
It became obvious then that the habits of-
coming on time, fulfilling an area of
responsibility and completing a task,
were not yet fully internalized, without
strong external support.
(3) More importantly, there was the effect of the
announcement a week earlier of snap
elections to be held in two weeks time.
The atmosphere in communities such as
Salt Lane at pre-election time, is
always highly charged. Because of the
nature of this pending election,
participants could not give full rein
to their emotions and were caught in a
double-bind situation, which negatively
affected their energy, concentration and
Copy of Ms. Wills' report is attached at Appendix IV.
- 25 -
Economic feasibility in this project is assessed, based on
the following positive indicators:
(1) Import substitution i.e. foreign exchange which the
country would save by replacing importation of Raisins (and
some prunes and currants) estimated at US $100,000 per year
for 60,000 lbs.,with local dried fruits.
(2) Impact on pricing i.e. as production increases, the
price of dried fruits which replace raisins now selling at JA
$8.50 per lb, should be competitively lower.
(3) Availability of raw materials at reasonable prices and
a predictable flow of goods daily.
(4) Local facilities of Bureau of Standards to ensure
shelf life tests and quality control.
(5) Available markets with the possibility of market
differentiation i.e. one kind of product for the high income,
gourmet market and one for low-income persons.
(6) An increasingly reliable transport system for
distribution of goods.
Costs and Income over a one year period are detailed in
Cash Flow projections at Appendix I. The three year budget
projections that follows indicate the feasibility of this
enterprise, based on available data.
The High Budget detailed above in Year 1 pre-supposes a
grant allocation which would prepare the participants to enter
into the beginnings of a national industry and genuine
independent business for many contributing groups, island-wide.
The Low Budget in Year 1 pre-supposes donations from the
Community; from the political system or from the Government
which would reduce participants' operating costs but keep them
in a semi-dependent position on the 'system'.
If an adequate grant or loan is approved for Year 1,
expansion in Year 2 could be covered by project activities.
Year 2 would be, at minimum, a break-even year, even if no
further subsidies or grants are given.
If costs are held down in Year 2 and production is
maximized, cash in hand at the end of Year 2 could be
The value of the proposed education program is that an
island wide training and nutrition information strategy can be
packaged and implemented in coordination with the Government
and people of Jamaica. Schools, clinics, institutions and
community centres could be contacted in each parish in an
effort to give practical meaning to the goals and functioning
of Home Economics Officers; Home Producers and Health
Educators. In this way real dividends and actual profits both
social and economic, can accrue to participating communities.
The feasibility of this enterprise can be further
established through an assessment of social as well as economic
factors and their interplay.
- 26 -
YEAR 1 High Budaet
RENTAL & OVERHEAD
A p m .
@$400 per month $ 4,800.00
10 Dryers @ $300
Stove & Gas
Tables & Cupboards
Tools Pots, Pans, Kitchen Utensils, Molds
300 lbs Fruits, Vegetables per week at
$1100 per lb. x 52
Pastry Ingredients $25 per day x 300 days
Purchasing of semi-finished dried fruits
from other groups 1001bs per week at
$3 per lb.
TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT
Three trainers in Baking, Drying
& Building Dryer
Design, Testing & Packaging of
Education Program by C.D.I. (30
working days over 2 months) in-
cluding selection & pre-training
of parish promoters
Training of Parish promoters;
Managers, participants 2 days per
week over 6 mths=50 days
Training of new recruits by
- 1 Manager 12,000.00
- 1 Asst. Manager (Participants as
- For 7 PARTICIPANTS @ $50 per week x 50 wks. 17,500.00
PROMOTIONS & ADVERTISING
INVESTMENT & SAVINGS
*at exchange rate of $3.25 Ja = $1.00 US
- 27 -
YEAR 1- Low Budaet
RENTAL & OVERHEAD
10 Dryers @ $250. each
Stove & Gas -Donated
Tools Partially Donated
300 lbs Fruits, Vegetables per week @ $1.00
Pastry Ingredients $25 per day @ 300
TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT
Three Trainer/Consultants in Baking, Drying
and Building Dryer
C.D.I. Training of Participants in Human
Resource Development & Management
10 days -
- Half-time Manager
- Allowance for Understudy Manager
- For 7 participants @ $40 per week
PROMOTIONS & ADVERTISING (Subsidized)
INVESTMENT & SAVINGS
- 28 -
YEAR 1 Income-High
-250 lbs dried fruits per week
@ $4.00 per lb x 52
-200 patties per day @ $1.00 x
- 100 fruit or vegetable drinks
per day at $1.50 x 260 days
YEAR 1 Income-Low
- 150 lbs fruit per week @ $4.00
per lb x 52
- 120 patties per day @ $0.80 x
- 100 drinks per day @ $1.00 x
TOTAL $ 82,160.00
- 29 -
YEAR 2 Budget Expenses
RENTAL & OVERHEAD
@ $400 per month $ 4,800.00
10 New Dryers @ $300
Large Brick or Commerical Oven
Tables, Cupboards, Pots, Pans, Utensils
600 Ibs fruits, vegetables per week @ $1.00
per lb x 50 weeks
Pastry ingredients $50 per day x 30 days
Purchasing of semi-finished dried fruits from
rural centres (150 Ibs @ $3 per lb.)
On the job technical training, Consultation
12 days per year @ $300 per day
For 10 Participants
PROMOTION & ADVERTISING
@ $60 per week x 50
INVESTMENT & SAVINGS
or US$ 57,015.38
YEAR 2 Income
- 400 lbs dried fruit per week @
$400 per lb x 52
- 300 patties per day @ $1.00 x 260
- 150 drinks per day @ $1.00 x 260
- 30 -
YEAR 3 Expenses
RENTAL & UTILITIES
@ $500 per month
5 New Dryers @ $300 each
800 lbs fruits, vegetables per week x 52
Purchase of 200 lbs dried fruit per week
from rural centres @ $4 per lb.
Technical consultation 12 days per year
@ $400 per day
Manager & Asst. Manager
For 10 Participants @ $70 per week x 52
PROMOTIONS & ADVERTISING
TRANSPORTATION vehicle purchase & maintenance
INVESTMENT & SAVINGS
YEAR 3 Income
- 500 lbs fruit per week @ $5.00 per
lb x 50 weeks
-400 patties per day @ $1.00 x 260 days
- 150 drinks per day @ $1.50 x 260 days
TOTAL JA $287,500.00
US $ 88,461.54
- 31 -
The social feasibility of establishing a food preparation
outlet in West Kingston can be determined based on the
(1) Reduction of Unemployment
While the number of persons initially involved in
launching a fruit drying and baking enterprise would be small,
once established, this project would create employment or
upgrade income for the following categories of persons:
(a) Producers, expanding beyond the original
seven members by the end of year 1, to
meet a growing demand.
(b) Promoters at least one per parish would
be responsible for implementing the
(c) Managers who could be trained by C.D.I.
along with other Business Management/
Development Agency, in Human Relations
(d) Trainers to complete the training
introduced during the feasibility study.
(e) Contract builders to assist participants
in constructing additional dryers.
(f) Fruit pickers (part-time) who as demand
for the industry grows, would be needed
to pick and select fruits within the
(g) Suppliers' whose income would increase
with demand for the goods.
(h) Street Vendors a small number to start,
increasing with time, who would receive
an education program to reinforce their
participation in a new distribution area.
(2) Human Resource Development
All categories of personnel mentioned under (1) would
Introduction and mastery of new skills.
An enterprise which contributes to
community and national Self-sufficiency
and a breakdown of the specific dependency
on the political patronage system which
characterizes the lives of the urban poor.
Increase in self-confidence and in their
sense of self-induced self-esteem.
An experience based on group decision-
making leading to a new level of
empowerment for women.
New income levels for women and men with
the resultant status rewards.
- 32 -
(3) Use of Appropriate Technology
The construction of a simple solar dryer using mostly
local materials, yet introducing a new technology in processing
fruits, are factors which contribute positively to the
feasibility of this project.
The use of women to construct their own dryer further
introduces a non-traditional skill not only to the
participants, but to other women in the target community.
This aspect of production has clear secondary benefits to
youth, children and women who would be educated around the
total process, as it develops in stages.
(4) Level of Community Input
In this projected enterprise, the level of community
interest and support is high. The following choices of space
exist for the group to set up their production centre.
(1) Operation Friendship with whom the
Bureau of women's Affairs had started
negotiating for two rooms on the group's
(2) A fully equipped kitchen and drying
space on large balconies at the Tivoli
Community Centre, offered to the group
by Ms. Hurge, Councillor for the area,
who is also on the U.D.C. Committee.
(3) The Kiwanis Community Complex, where
Ms. Wills teaches Home Economics and
where the fruit drying could go on
under her collaborative supervision,
if option 1 or 2 were not feasible.
All of the above sites are in their wider community, and
any choice made would guarantee: greater community cohesion
and stability; a greater sense of community responsibility and
self-sufficiency; and an optimization of the use of community
(5) Creating a Model for Duplication
A model of grass-roots development, already researched and
implemented in rural Wakefield, Trelawny by Steve McDonald,
C.D.I. (The Triple Eye Inc. Project) is similarly needed for
"inner-city" communities, trapped by the disparate growth of
urban resources in the face of increasing urban demands.
The project qualifies as a model because it is based on
the resources, energies, problem-solving approaches, supplies,
technologies, and understanding of the development process,
available in any community island-wide.
- 33 -
Strategies Used to Establish Feasibility
A. Participatory Research Approach
We have employed strategies in this study that have
facilated the group's accommodation to the feasibility task.
The rationale to use group participants as Research Assistants
is based upon workable measures adopted from our own cultural
research experience; and our knowledge of group dynamics, and
the development principles we derived from Reinforcement
1. For example, it was found simpler to have the group claim
the feasibility task as partly their own activity under
conditions in which its success/failure depended upon the
quality of their participation, rather than being indirectly
associated with it for the greater benefit of the
co-ordinators. This latter concept-approach works,
characteristically, in "trainee projects" where there is
excessive "agency domination" and where insecurity factors
predominate among participants. In this case, because the
participants were contributing to their own development, they
felt more rewarded when performing each task, and more in
control of possible outcome.
2. Further, the tactics we used focused on "total group"
participation in short-term, intense activities; e.g.
development of questionnaires; interviewing skills; fruit
drying; packaging; solar dryer construction; baking and pastry
making. The approach to their task assignments, requiring as
it did constructive, discriminative interest, helped to create
a "learning set" or climate where attitudes/habits related to
negative functioning (fears, doubts, resistances) had less
opportunity to become reinforced. Instead the goal assigned to
each task was achievable and brought its own reward.
3. The strategy of total group participation i.e. between
coordinators & participators allowed participants to become
more functionally aware of how the coordinators activated each
step of the task process; as managers, teachers, demonstrators
and as development agents fully concerned about task
consistency within a predictable working environment.
Total group participation also allowed task managers to
remain sensitive to the personal/social pressure factors which
could adversely affect group output.
In general total group participation is accepted widely as
presenting a more fruitful scope for assuring task-acceptance
and involvement. The tendency we observed in this approach, is
for the task set to start off with momentum, lose some motion
in the intermediate stage, when group dynamics and
task-operation interact and finally to gain a new level of
energy as extraneous needs/interactions decrease and task
fluency and group, rather than individual,needs take priority.
- 34 -
B. Training Strategy
Training was also involved with moving participants from a
narrow to a broader range of professional capability, from a
marginal to a more prescribed dimension of economic
Training engaged strategies of: transforming behaviour,
establishing a more varied behaviour repertoire, instituting a
more structured and formidable "community skill pool" to
serve as an alternative productive nucleus to the ghetto
Training also involved the use of vicarious modeling
techniques, and interpretative and supportive processes to
encourage appropriate "behaviour transfer" among the
participants. Thus, coordinators employed themselves as
realistic models of self-improvement and self-motivation,
helping to clarify not just the steps to skill acquisition, but
how, when and for what purposes they could be applied. The
fact that this activity could become a national industry took
on meaning gradually for the participants, and at the final
stage of the study, one participant remarked that "several
dryers and an entire factory" was what was really needed.
It is important to note that feasibility of training under
this study was interpreted and designed by the investigators to
assess substantially more than the cold socio-economic and
structural factors related to acquiring a new skill or becoming
Training was approached creatively, with a view to
determining whether the participants, upon acquiring new
skills, could be instrumental in spearheading their own drive
to create employment.
Our overriding goal as researchers was to demonstrate that
possession of a skill does not in itself, guarantee employment
to ghetto people, although it increases job-potential.
It was more critical that skill development take place
along with morale-building. It was vital that participants
learned to produce; to manage their productivity; and remained
confident that they could exercise a reasonable degree of
business control over the economic forces of the marketplace,
instead of being trapped by the market-economy.
In conclusion, we identified:
(1) Developing a skill-dictated enterprise as a practical
motive and achievable goal for this group.
(2) The product as having an economically viable future
on the Jamaican market, depending on the scope of the
supportive education program.
(3) That the community effort at self-reliance would be
enhanced in non-traditional ways through the influence of this
(4) Training as a means of adding tactical,
skill-comoponents to participants' development experience.
Among these were sensitivity to human and psychological
engineering using the tools and data on human social forces
(from the survey questionnaire) to aid the promotion of their
enterprise and identify market strategies appropriate for
Sonja T. Harris
in collaboration with Steve McDonald
Cultural Devt. Institute
CASH FLOW PROJECTIONS
NAME OF COMPANY: WEST KINGSTON FOOD PROJECT
DATE PREPARED: January 1984
Month Month Month Month Month Month Month Month Month Month Month Month
Cash in bank LOAN
(Start of month) $12,000 $1,000. 1,000. 1,000. 1,000. 1,000. 1,000. 1,000. 1,000. 1,000. 1,000. 1,000. 1,000.
Cash on hand
(Start of month)
Expected cash sales $6,846. 6,846. 6,846. 6,846. 6,846. 6,846. 6,846. 6,846. 6,846. 6,846. 6,846. 6,846.
TOTAL CASH & RECEIPTS $7,846. 7,846. 7,846. 7,846. 7,846. 7,846. 7,846. 7,846. 7,846. 7,846. 7,846. 7,846.
Expenses (During month)
Wages (including owner's) 6.566. 6566 6.566. 4.766. 4.766. 1,766 1,766. 1,766. 1,766. 1,766. 1,766. 1.766.
Materials & Equipment $2,258. 2,258. 2,258. 2,258. 2,258. 2,258. 2,258. 2,258. 2,258. 2,258. 2,258. 2,258.
Over-head 60. 60. 60. 60. 60. 60. 60. 60. 60. 60. 60. 60.
Loan repayment 300. 300. 300. 300. 300. 300. 300. 300. 300. 300. 300. 300.
Other cash expenses
Other Trn et ts.e 1.125. 1,125 1.125. 1,125 1.125. 1,12125. 1125. 1125. 1.125. 1.125. 1.125. 1,125.
TOTAL EXPENSES 10,309. 0,309. 10,309. 8,509. 8,509. 5,509. 5,509. 5,509. 5,509. 5,509. 5,509. 5,509.
NET CASH FLOW -2,463. -2,463. -2,463. 663. 663. 2,337. 2,337. 2,337. 2,337. 2,337. 2,337. 2,337.
1 L M e ^ / 1J ro i e 'I i ,Yn ..o ..l- In 0 -4- 1 1 .,_ ..
/V.6 /h-ye- 3fnJcLLf- < r-- ---
V '_ Le q f c7-'?f-y yraOr. /Pr7 T n--7 i r"? UM / a /. 10ic( a- nt. 0e&L/ /9
u -r vwl -c-rr,
REPORT ON THE TECHNICAL ASSESSMENT
SALT LANE COMMUNITY GROUP
In order to assess the technical potential of the group a portable
solar crop dryer was designed and built. The group would then be asked to
construct a similar dryer with necessary aid and instruction.
The dryer consisted of a rectangular box on legs. It had a
removable bottom with holes to allow air into the dryer. The top transparent
cover was of fibreglass in order to avoid the risk of breakage and the extra
cost. Two trays with metal mesh bottoms were accommodated by the dryer.
Triangular notches were cut into the top edge of the body of the dryer to
allow the moisture-laden air to escape.
Meetings with the group took place on four occasions over a period
of 8 days and the activities are summarized below.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 8
This was an introductory meeting with the seven members of the
The portable dryer was shown to the group and the functions of
the various parts of the dryer were explained briefly. Only one person
indicated that she had previous experience in the use of the carpentry tools
to be used in the building of the dryer. Nonetheless all were willing to
attempt to build an identical model although there seemed to be an under-
standable lack of conviction as to whether it could be done.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9
Instruction sheets were handed out outlining the steps to be taken
in constructing the body of the dryer and the drying trays. After reading
the sheets they decided to divide into three groups making the body of the
dryer, the bodies of the trays and the handles of the trays respectively.
All were involved in using the tape and square in marking off the
lengths of wood to be cut. They all participated in sawing up the wood, but
most of them had difficulty in starting a cut with the saw (except for Miss
Pearl) and in cutting along the lines. In nailing the pieces together dif-
ficulty was also experienced in getting the nails to go all the way in with-
At the end of the day the body of one tray had been assembled.
Mesh was cut for the bottom of the tray and tacked onto the body. One set
of handles was also completed and nailed onto the body.
The body of the dryer had been assembled but it was not rigid
enough. On a suggestion from the pair working on it, it was decided to dis-
assemble the body and repeat the assembly in a different fashion considered
to be more convenient.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15
The body of the dryer was put together again and the result was
satisfactory. Pieces of wood for supporting the bottom of the dryer were cut
and nailed into place.
A brace and bit was used to drill holes into wooden strips which
were then screwed onto the bottom of the tray to hold the mesh securely into
place. This completed the first tray.
Wood for the body and handles of the second tray was cut and
assembled. Mesh was also cut and tacked to the bottom of this tray.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16
Strips for the second tray were drilled and screwed on to complete
The metal sheet for the bottom of the dryer was cut to size and
holes were drilled into it to allow for inlet air.
Pieces of wood for the cover of the dryer were cut and assembled.
The strips to hold the fibreglass cover into place were cut and the holes for
the screws drilled. (The cover was not completed as the fibreglass was not
available at the time).
GENERAL ASSESSMENT OF TECHNICAL COMPETENCE
(a) Hand Saw
Most of the group were able to make satisfactory cuts after the
three working sessions.
All were able to drive the nails in properly.
(c) Metal Shears
There was no problem in cutting the mesh but a slight difficulty
arose in cutting the sheet metal.
(d) Brace and Bit
This seemed to give the greatest trouble. In particular some were
not capable of keeping the bit vertical so that the holes were not made
All used this satisfactorily.
The final product was quite good when one considers that they were
being introduced to most of the tools for the first time. As a group they
are certainly capable of making dryers of this and similar types which do not
require complicated woodworking techniques.
ASSESSMENT OF INDIVIDUAL ABILITY
It should be borne in mind that this impression of ability was
formed over a limited period of observation and as such should possibly be
considered as being closer to the lower limit of ability than the upper limit.
(a) Sonia and Juliet
This pair was involved in constructing the body of the dryer. They
were careful in marking the wood, cutting it and nailing it together.
In fact it was on their suggestion that the alternative method of
assembly was tried and turned out to be successful. They both showed
good technical potential.
(b) Juliet (Baby Bear)
She was enthusiastic and participated in all aspects of construc-
tion using all the tools involved. She did not, however, exercise enough
care and this resulted in faults such as wood not being cut exactly to
required length or at right angles to its length. She should improve
if she slows down.
She participated in building the trays and the cover. She used
some tools properly but her drilling and cutting needed improvement.
(d) Miss Pearl
Her performance showed that she had had previous experience in
using most of the tools. Her standard of work was satisfactory.
She was the smallest (and youngest) in the group and was not as
strong as the others. However, she worked steadily and carefully and
whatever she did was properly done.
(f) Vilma (Pepper)
She worked in a quiet, unobtrusive way and seemed to make few
mistakes. She handled the tools well, but her obvious pregnancy seemed
to limit her ability for the more strenuous work.
Department of Physics.
REPORT ON COOKERY CLASSES HELD ON 25TH
NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER 1ST, 1983
On Friday November 25th, 1983 a group of seven ladies met
with me for the first time to participate in a practical exercise,
for the purpose of utilizing indigenous foods in the preparation
and cooking of nutritious, appetizing and yet economical dishes.
They were apprehensive at first, because the idea of using
vegetables like chochos, pumpkin and cucumbers to make refreshing
beverages was not appealing to them, and ackee and saltfish, though
our national dish was unassociated with pastry.
After a few unusual utensils and their uses were introduced,
I started by demonstrating the procedures involved in the making
of Cucumber Kooler. Later, two of the ladies had the opportunity
of applying what was taught earlier by attempting to make the other
two beverages. This gave me a chance to see how well they understood
and were able to recall the ingredients and their proportions. This
was mastered fairly well.
As the finished products were passed around to be sampled I
observed the nodding of heads as they looked at each other. This
I interpreted as an indication of approval of taste.
The 'ice was broken' because they all seemed more at ease
and were now more enthusiastic, anticipating what was to follow.
Everyone was involved in the preparation and cooking of the
ackee and saltfish, and also with the pastry. The rules of short
crust pastry earlier taught could be seen being applied as the
ladies got on the way with the rolling, shaping and cutting of
The thirty-five minutes for baking seemed to go by so quickly
as we all were discussing the methods and manipulative skills in
the making of the dishes made and the market prospects.
The ackee and saltfish patties were equally enticing and they
all could not wait to get home, so they could share their knowledge
and finished products with the rest of their families and friends.
The second evening started off with the group much more
relaxed and eager and their enthusiasm from the previous week was
brought over as they were quite intense in making some more patties
in addition to the planned programme. This time, however, although
vegetables were agian introduced in making punches and cakes the
ladies were less timid as they had gained some confidence. This
session took more or less the same format as the first, in that
again unusual utensils were introduced together with new methods
of preparation and techniques.
On conclusion of the second class one could sense the
deep regret felt as this also meant the end of their practical
During the period that I spent with the group, I observed
that there were two ladies who showed outstanding performance,
and were quite alert and able to recall and apply general informa-
tion and procedures taught.
Although the level of understanding and intelligence
differed among these ladies, I feel quite confident that their
learning experience along with their own initiative has prepared
them to face the competitive market.
Prepared by: Paulette James (Mrs.)
Food & Nutrition Teacher
Report on Fruit Drying Project
On Friday December 9, a training day in fruit preservation was held
with seven (7) women.
The method of preservation used was Cooking the fruits in syrup,
then putting them into a Solar dyyer. Three fruits done by this
process was, melon rind, sour orange peel, paw paw. Ripe bananas
were just peeled and put to dry. Twenty pounds of Melon Rind,
Sour Orange Peel and Paw Paw two (2) dozen ripe bananas was done.
Tuesday December 13, we met again to assess the results of the firs5
batch of fruits and also did six pounds of Cho Cho using the boiling
in syrup method. This may be ready in about five (5) days. Results
of the first batch was very favourable and the orange rind was
diced and ready for storage. The paw paw and melon rind needed
about two (2) more days drying and these can be removed from the
dryer by Friday December 16.
Recipes for the four fruits done was we given and notes suggesting
how the guava, green paw paw, ripe paw paw, mango, cashew fruit,
otaheiti apple and pine apple can be done was given.
Participation of the seven women was good and they seem to enjoy
From the result of what was done, I believe that this project can
be successfully implemented.
Signed:.. .. ;4 .. .. .
Otis M. Wills (Mrs)
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