22 August 2018
“This initiative isn’t just a farm, it’s a system to help people directly help themselves”, explained Ras Flako, coordinator of the Rastafari Ancients Farming Project. The Reggae University of the 25th Rototom Sunsplash was converted into a loudspeaker for this particular foundation the seeks to give new and better conditions to the Rastafari Ancients Community in Jamaica. Ras Ibi and Ras Julio lead the round table alongside him, two other members of the same organisation.
The music played out and for a moment, it seemed that we connected directly to the Rastafari culture. Being in the presence of someone like Ras Flako is a privilege. The Rastafari elder told us in first person about the details of the Rastafari Ancients Farming Project. We also had the opportunity to listen to the testimony of real Rastafari that form a part of this project, that have the objective of creating tools that can be used to overcome the social and economic difficulties that the Rastafari Ancients Community in Jamaica are facing. Their situation is unknown, for example, the difficulties they have getting access to food and many of them are malnourished due to food shortages.
This farm, that is much more than a farm, can be found in Pitfour Granville, in Montengo Bay (Jamaica). Its objective is to give form to an active and organic farm where the Rastafari work among themselves to cultivate the produce they will consume. The idea isn’t to sell what they grow, but to use it as their food source, for survival.
Rastafari Ancients Farming Project has given possibilities that they would have had no other way of getting. They are creating their future. But, why a farm? Ras Flako and Ras Ibi went on to explain; they wanted to give importance to agriculture, which becomes a form of self-sufficiency, as well as a practice that can be useful at any time of the year and with which they can grow their own organic food.
A farm that has an incredible social value because of its function and also to support community value, as a place for Rastafari to gather, where as well as working with the earth, they can share their experiences and support each other. A small corner of peace.
Rastafari Ancients Farming Project is possible through donations from the public, which can be economic or material, for example in the form of seeds. Small steps taken on a long path; “Rastafari blessing”.
Written by Asun Pérez. Translated by Finn Darco