JIS News

Story Highlights

  • As the Government intensifies efforts to get Jamaicans to eat more locally produced food, November has been designated as ‘Eat Jamaican Month’.
  • This year marks the 10th anniversary of the ‘Grow What We Eat, Eat What We Grow’ campaign that was launched by the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) in 2003.
  • On November 25, the annual Eat Jamaican Day will be celebrated on the lawns of King’s House.

As the Government intensifies efforts to get Jamaicans to eat more locally produced food, November has been designated as ‘Eat Jamaican Month’.

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Roger Clarke, officially launched the month during the staging of the World Food Day National Ceremony and Exhibition at the Greater Portmore High School in St. Catherine on Wednesday, October 16.

He said the observance “will provide us as a country, with a renewed opportunity to focus attention on this critical aspect of our development”.  Emphasis will be placed on food security, rural development, and poverty eradication through wealth creation in the areas of primary and value-added agriculture.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the ‘Grow What We Eat, Eat What We Grow’ campaign that was launched by the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) in 2003.  To mark the milestone, the Government took the decision to extend the observance beyond the one day ‘Eat Jamaican Day’ on November 25, to have a month-long celebration.

“Already, we have received commitment from partners in the media and in the supermarket sector to assist us to promote the Eat Jamaican call to action. We would like to see in every supermarket, a shelf dedicated solely to Jamaican products, and we would like to see that everywhere in every supermarket,” the Minister said.

He said that as the Government works to produce more foods that are safe, nutritious, affordable, and palatable, consumers can do their part by selecting balanced diets, including the fresh fruits and vegetables “we grow in abundance in Jamaica”.

“We need to stop and check what is in our food baskets. We all need to check what we are growing in our backyard gardens. We all need to check what our young people and children are consuming as snacks,” he said.

Activities to commemorate the month include a church service on November 3 at the Portmore New Testament Church of God, St. Catherine.

On November 25, the annual Eat Jamaican Day will be celebrated on the lawns of King’s House.

Also on the day, a revised Eat Jamaican proclamation will be issued to focus on a Zero Hunger programme to be undertaken locally, and the Eat Jamaican anniversary awards will also be presented.

The celebrations will also include the launch of an Eat Jamaican cookbook; parish activities; an Eat Jamaican farmers’ cook off competition; and a schools’ quiz competition.