After a lifelong love and having began taking crab farming professionally six years in the past, Jermaine Morris is dreaming of rising his enterprise to a degree the place he can in the end faucet into the export market.
Morris informed The Gleaner that he developed a mushy spot for the crustaceans from a younger age, so it was no shock that his ardour for the ‘strolling delicacy’ has propelled him into making a enterprise out of it.
The 42-year-old Westmoreland-born Morris, popularly referred to as ‘Crabby’, has established a crab farm in Rock district, close to Falmouth, in Trelawny, the place he’s rearing land crabs, sea crabs, mud crabs, gasoline crabs, and river crabs. His three crab pens can collectively maintain 5,400 crabs.
“As a really younger youngster, I couldn’t watch for crab season so I may catch and eat them,” mentioned Morris, reflecting on the genesis of his ardour for crabs. “I introduced this love for crabs with me for years and so I made a decision I might do crab farming. Now, I hunt each different day.”
He’s increasing his information of crabs as he plans to develop his enterprise.
“First, I’m making an attempt to start out right here with native markets in Jamaica to package deal and promote it. The norm for me is to cook dinner them dwell and promote them on the highway, however I’m at the moment doing extra analysis on crabs out and in the shell,” he informed The Gleaner, including, “Increasing is every thing for me. The imaginative and prescient that I’ve is to do packaging and exporting.”
Confronted many challenges
Regardless of his zeal to succeed, it was not all clean crusing. Morris needed to endure many challenges in the course of the preliminary levels as he began out with too massive an operation, costing him dearly as he didn’t know sufficient to keep away from a few of his losses.
“I misplaced some huge cash as a result of I needed to shut down my bar and restaurant because of the primary highway closing. Making issues worse, COVID-19 got here and I couldn’t sustain with my automobile funds so the financial institution took the automobile that I might use to do deliveries and pick-ups,” mentioned Morris.
Nevertheless, at current, enterprise is booming, and far to Morris’ delight, his gross sales are actually surpassing what he used to earn from his bar and restaurant.
“Over time, I realised there was a requirement, so I made a decision to broaden with the demand that was coming in,” mentioned Morris, who has integrated his household within the enterprise. “It is sort of a household affair. I like crab farming with my household.”
In accordance with Morris, the crab season begins in April and ends in June. He mentioned when crabs are mating, inside a few days or hours, you can see the females with quite a lot of eggs.
“After three weeks, one feminine crab can litter and fill my three pens with eggs … ,” defined Morris.
“You’ll discover the feminine crabs, however not as a lot because the males. If you wish to discover feminine crabs, you’ll have to go to the ocean edge. Identical to people, the feminine crabs will keep house and the male crabs will journey and seek for different feminine crabs,” added Morris.
Reminiscing on some enjoyable experiences, Morris laughed heartily as he recalled being approached by a crocodile one night time whereas he was out crab searching with a member of the family.
“He (the relative) ran right into a crocodile and ran again house and left every thing within the bush. That, I need to say, was one of many funniest experiences I’ve had,” mentioned Morris.
When he first moved to Trelawny in 1999, Morris mentioned his first crab hunt was a catastrophe as after almost 5 hours, he solely caught 12 crabs. Dissatisfied, he determined to return to Westmoreland to hunt crab, and that paid off handsomely.
“It (the catch) was a lot that I couldn’t discover anyplace to retailer all of them, so I gave some away to residents within the space,’’ mentioned Morris.
“If you wish to do crab farming and achieve success, take it significantly and make the time. It is rather like elevating another animal, you need to clear and maintain it.” he suggested.
To have a good time his success, the crab-loving Morris and his household created the annual Trelawny Crab Fest, the place they’d give away free crabs and free rides to youngsters. Sadly, the annual occasion was not staged final yr due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Along with his crab farm, Morris can be venturing into chickens, pigeons, and rabbit rearing. He hopes to turn out to be a significant provider of those meats to the native resort sector.