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Jamaicans are being urged to eat more locally produced food, as part of efforts to safeguard the island’s food security, by President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Lenworth Fulton.
The call is also being made in light of the upcoming ‘Eat Jamaican’ Day observance on Friday, November 25.
Mr. Fulton, in a recent message, said the organisation recognises the importance of supporting local production in order to ensure the stability of the agricultural sector and, by extension, nation-building.
“It is my opinion that there is no economic activity which has a greater multiplier effect than money made from farming. As we urge consumers today to ‘Eat Jamaican’, in the same breath we urge the farmers to increase production and to become more integrally involved in taking themselves to the next level, by offering value-added products with attractive packaging,” he said.
Recently, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries reported six consecutive quarters of growth since the second quarter of 2021. This represents a 17.4 per cent increase in production.
Mr. Fulton said the ‘Eat Jamaican’ tenets have become even more purposeful as the nation battles the global pandemic of COVID-19 and its debilitating effects on the society.
“There is a real need, therefore, to consume local agricultural produce filled with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to boost the immune system. The ‘Eat Jamaican’ campaign was borne out of the need to encourage consumers to recognise, support and to have a greater appreciation for the range and quality of Jamaica’s agricultural produce and products,” he added.
Now in its 19th year, the Eat Jamaican campaign was launched by the late Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Howard Cooke.
A Proclamation that was issued on November 25, 2003, declared November 25 annually as ‘Eat Jamaican’ Day.
The main aim of the campaign is to reposition the agricultural sector through a process of integrated rural development, as well as to develop a programme of sustainable food security.