Moesha Martin shares her internship experience at JP Farms

By Cait-Amoi Goulbourne

August 18, 2021

Moesha Martin is a past student of the College of Agriculture, Science and Education where she was enrolled in the Agro-processing and Business Management Programme. She was also a recipient of an Advance Program scholarship.  

Moesha completed her internship at JP Farms. She shares this experience with us.  


Moesha: Hi. My name is Moesha Martin. I am a past student of the College of Agriculture, Science and Education, where I was enrolled in the Agro-processing and Business Management Programme. I was also a recipient of an Advance Program scholarship. 


Moesha: So, why am I here with you today? Well, I am here to share my internship experience with you. 


Moesha: I completed my internship experience at JP Farmers as a quality assurance intern. Before we continue, I must thank the Advance Program through USAID and JP Farms for this golden opportunity. 


Moesha: What did I do? I was responsible for quality control checks. I tested and inspected products to ensure that they met quality standards, and I also monitored my coworkers to ensure that they complied with the standards when carrying out their daily tasks.  


Moesha: The experience was great. I built on skills and knowledge I learned in school, for example, I now know how to de-hand a bunch of bananas without damaging the fruits. I can now remove defects from a cluster of bananas, and I also learned how to do a full evaluation of raw materials, sanitization, water, and temperature checks. 


Moesha: I was told by my supervisor that I cannot tell someone how to do their work if I don’t know how to do it myself. Speaking of my supervisor… 


Carita Ellis: Moesha worked with us for about 5 to 6 months. At first, she was a bit reserved but over time she loosened up and became a part of the JP family. She is smart. She is a quick learner. Overall, I would say it was good working with her. At JP Tropical we pride ourselves on quality and Moesha got the opportunity to work in our quality department, where she ensures that the highest quality pineapples and bananas are being delivered to our customers. She was responsible for testing the translucency and sweetness of our pineapples and bananas. She did daily water checks, among other things. 


Carita Ellis: What does internship mean to JP? At JP we want to expand the meaning of a career in agriculture to include quality specialist like myself. Therefore, JP encourages internships. 


Moesha: Whew! I was a little nervous there. I really enjoyed my time at Jamaica Producers. What I’ve learned about agro-processing, quality checks, sanitization and risk management in school really helped me to execute my daily tasks. I am happy I was exposed to this knowledge both in the classroom and on our field trips. 


Moesha: Want to know what my job entails? Let me share with you a day in the life of my internship at JP. As you can see here, firstly the pines are sent down the tube and into a series of washes on the conveyor belt. At the end of the line, they are tagged. If they are packed in red bags, they are [for] PriceSmart. If not, they are just regular market pine. Now, after that they are sent inside the packing house where they will be packed. Now, it is time for my part of the job. 


Moesha: Welcome to my station where I do inspections of pineapples. Oneil here, will remove a box of pineapples from the palette to put on the scale for me to get the weight before I can do any inspection check. 


Oneil: This is the weight of the box, 15.3 KG. 


Moesha: So, the box is at its maximum weight, and that is okay for me to do my inspection. I will remove the pineapples from the box one by one. In the meantime, I will also do my checks. So, I would check the crown to make sure that it is washed properly, and also the base. I will also look underneath to make sure that there are no Mealybugs or Pseudomonas, etc. I will feel around the pineapple to make sure that there are no soft spots. I also check for sunburns and any other field defects or packing house defects. 


Moesha: So, I will check how many pineapples are in this box. This box consists of 10 pineapples. So, I will repack the box in its correct order, to make sure that they don’t squeeze. So, that will conclude my check of a pineapple box. I will re-cover the box and allow the gentle man to put it back on the palette. 


Moesha: So that is the end of my packing house check for pineapples. 


Moesha: After leaving the packing house we will come to the lab to do a pineapple test. This test is called a pineapple taste profile. So, we normally take 3 samples of a pineapple: stage 1, stage 2 and stage 3. Today, we will be testing a stage 2 pineapple. What we will do where we are testing a pineapple, first, we will cut off the crown and then cut the pineapple in half. 


Moesha: So, after we cut the pineapple in half we will check for its translucency. We have a chart here with the 5 different stages. So, you can put the pineapple up against the chart to tell which stage it is. So, after that is finished, we would check the bricks. We’re going to use a bricks machine. So firstly, you would need the juice from the middle. Make sure you get it from the middle. So, you get as much juice as possible and then we can just taste it to see if it’s telling the right reading. I would say it is ok. It is not too sweet nor too sour, just right. 


Moesha: So, what’s next for me? I am heading to the Cayman Islands to work in the agriculture industry. There, I will be responsible for overseeing a nursey. I will be planting, cultivating, and harvesting plants and trees. After, I will come back to Jamaica to start my own business, which is running a farm of course. Exciting times ahead! Until next time, I hope USAID continue to invest in youth and Jamaica Producers Group Limited continue to give students the experience they need to excel in this industry. Bye. (waves) 


The Agro-processing and Business Management Programme is an Advance supported program that is being delivered by the Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica (CCCJ), one of Advance’s partner institutions in Jamaica.  

Advance is funded by USAID and implemented by FHI 360.  

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