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Prime Minister Bruce Golding says the government has embarked on a major food production drive using improved technology, as the country will have to grow more food in order to feed itself. He said increased production can be achieved through new agricultural projects and self effort, and that the country should plant more in order to become self-sufficient.
Mr. Golding’s comments were made in his message to the nation in observance of Labour Day, today May 23.
He said that in reflecting on the advancement that has been made in labour relations and institutionalisation of good labour management, Jamaicans must be mindful of the fact that we live in a constantly changing environment to which we must always be prepared to adapt.
Mr. Golding said that with globalization creating a virtual world single market which no longer affords us the luxury of “doing our own thing”, the market for goods and services now stretches across vast oceans and continents, and our ability to be relevant and competitive is dependent on the adoption of international best practices.
Mr. Golding said that since 1972, the celebration of Labour Day has taken the form of contributing our labour to improving the quality of life with each Labour Day being given a particular theme. This year’s theme, “Eat what we grow and grow what we eat”, is very important, as with the food crisis that is gripping the world and impacting so heavily on Jamaica, we will not be able to afford to import as much food as in the past, he noted.
The Prime Minister said that 200,000 packs of seeds will be distributed to students above Grade 7 and it is hoped that householders will find some space in their backyards to turn into gardens. He said that a number of community projects have been identified by the National and Parish Labour Day Committees to establish school gardens so that the schools can become food production centres.
The Prime Minister is urging the country to use this Labour Day to ensure that the country can better feed itself.