OCHO RIOS — Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr. the Hon Christopher Tufton, has welcomed the support for the Ministry's 'Eat Jamaican' road shows, across the Island.
“The public has been responding well to this campaign. We launched it in the Coronation (Market) and it went well, and last week we were in Mandeville and it was very good,” Dr. Tufton said.
A large number of residents turned out at Buckfield, Ocho Rios, on Wednesday (April 6) to support the St. Ann leg of the campaign, which carries as its message, “Grow what we eat – Eat what we grow”.
Dr. Tufton pointed out that it was aimed at local production, and sought to encourage consumers to make healthy choices, by eating local produce, fruits and vegetables.
“If consumers can depend more on local produce, and our farmers become more efficient and consistent, then what you are doing is hedging against the risk involved in dependence on others; so that is a very important message and a part of our food security programme,” he said.
On hand at the event, showcasing various products were entities such as the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), WATA, Island Grill and Jamaica Broilers.
Manager of the Social Services and Economics Unit at RADA, Lorna Gooden, told JIS News that the unit was in strong support of the campaign.
“I want to encourage our farmers to continue producing and striving towards feeding ourselves, because that is where our pride and joy is going to be; and we need to believe in the message that this campaign is promoting, that we can indeed grow what we eat and eat what we grow,” Mrs. Gooden said.
St. Ann Farmer, Lenworth Lowe said that the promotion to eat Jamaican was a good idea coming from the Ministry.
“I have been a farmer of herbs for many years now and I love what I do, and I commend the Minister, the Ministry of Agriculture and all the stakeholders involved in spreading this message across the country for persons to eat Jamaican. It is a good thing and I love it,” Mr. Lowe told JIS News.
The 'Eat Jamaican' Campaign is being funded by the European Union (EU), and implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Next stop in the series of road shows will be on Friday, April 15, at the Port Antonio Square, Portland.
By ALDEEN CAMPBELL, JIS Reporter