Increase Production to Ensure Food Security- Clarke


Minister of Agriculture, Roger Clarke has called on the country’s farmers to increase production to ensure food security.
The Minister, who was speaking at a World Food Day function at the William Knibb High School in Trelawny on October 21, said the recent hurricane had highlighted the severity of the shortage of local produce.
“We should strive to produce as much as we can for ourselves; we must do everything to help our small farmers in this country. What has been happening is that cheap imports has undermined our small farmers in this country, and there are many people who get up every day and say it is much cheaper to bring in this, that and the other”, he stated.
He expressed the opinion that the foods that were being imported were not of the quality as those produced locally, and called on the Jamaican farmers to continue to produce to feed the nation.Students and teachers from several schools across the island participated in the World Food Day activities under the theme: ‘Biodiversity for food security’.
According to Assistant Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) representative in Jamaica, Gladstone Barrett, this year’s theme was chosen against the background of the need to protect and preserve the flora and fauna on which mankind depended for food, clothing and other very critical elements.
He emphasized that the FAO was committed to the process of agricultural development and food security, adding that the same level of commitment should be a priority for Jamaica, based on its vulnerability to natural disasters.
He said further that, “there must be a serious and concerted drive towards the consumption of our locally grown staples, tubers and root crops.”
Dinthill Technical High School in St. Catherine gained the prize for the high school with the best school garden island wide, while Rockhall All-Age in St. Andrew was awarded the prize for the best school garden in the primary and All-Age schools division.
World Food Day is observed during the month of October each year, and marks the establishment of the FAO as a member of the United Nations specialized agencies. The FAO has specific responsibility for the development of agriculture worldwide.

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