JAS President Urges Jamaicans to Buy Local Products


President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Norman Grant has exhorted Jamaicans to buy more local products as a means of supporting the country’s producers and stimulating economic development.
Giving the main address at the annual general meeting of the Portland Association of Branch Societies of the JAS, held at the Old Port Antonio Marina on March 17, Senator Grant said it was for that reason that the JAS has embarked on the ‘Eat Jamaican’ campaign, which was launched in November of last year.
He noted that the aim of the campaign was to encourage Jamaicans “to eat the products we grow and grow the products we eat”, adding that this would provide the type of support to the agricultural sector that would significantly enhance its contribution to the Jamaican economy.
Senator Grant stressed that for the campaign to succeed, Jamaican farmers would have to understand that they must produce goods of the best quality, as the realities of globalisation had placed them in a position where they were competing with farmers from all over the world.
He noted that the JAS was working jointly with the Bureau of Standards to have a seal of quality on the goods produced by Jamaican farmers, and that he was confident the farmers would make every effort to exploit the opportunities available to them through the introduction of that initiative.
Turning to other projects being embarked on by the JAS to assist the farmers of the country, Mr. Grant cited the tractor tillage programme to be implemented in collaboration with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), and the promotion of the central marketing system to be introduced in collaboration with the Bureau of Standards and the Scientific Research Council (SRC).
He explained that the tractor services would be available to farmers at subsidised rates, and the central marketing system would effectively address the marketing problems plaguing the farming sector.
On the matter of praedial larceny, Senator Grant said a total of 112 cases were reported during the last three months, and that a Bill currently being pursued by Parliament would seek to significantly reduce the problem.
He said the JAS was fully committed to that effort, and pointed out that the Society would be embarking on a public education campaign to get the support of the public in the fight against praedial larceny.

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