JIS News

The Potato Growers Cooperative has informed the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) that sweet potatoes and red peas were two crops that would not be in short supply on the Jamaican market, and that there was no need to import these produce.
Treasurer of the Cooperative, Hector Dietrich gave the assurance at a post board meeting press conference held recently by the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) at its office on Church Street in Downtown Kingston.
According to President of the JAS, Senator Norman Grant, the Society would be responsible for monitoring the importation of food items, in order to ensure that this was done in an organized manner.
He stressed that the importation of food items would not be a long-term situation, and would only be done while the sector was being rehabilitated. Senator Grant pointed out that importation at this time was a necessity, and was in no way contradicting the JAS’ “Eat Jamaican Campaign”.
The Society’s position, he said, was that consumers should make local food their first choice and in the event of a shortage, “then we go outside”.
Meanwhile, in his presentation, Executive Director of the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ), Dr. Omer Thomas said it was very important that the BSJ and the JAS worked together, in managing the importation of food items.
He re-emphasized the role of the Bureau and said the agency would “make sure that all those persons who are involved in the importation of products. that were lost in the hurricane, will meet the standards that the [Bureau] has set”.
Dr. Thomas reiterated that the process would not be a free for all and that “the Bureau is going to make sure that persons who have to import, import what is needed, what is genuinely in short supply and what could not be produced in a short time by the farmers after the relief supplies have been granted”.

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