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  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Lenworth Fulton, has emphasised that food security and safety has become a national priority.
  • The CEO said that priority is very significant, as economic and environmental forces have combined to threaten long-term food supply and prices.
  • The CEO said that the work being carried out by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica to facilitate a risk-based preventative approach rather than a reactive approach to food safety problems, is in line with guidelines stipulated by the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA).

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Lenworth Fulton, has emphasised that food security and safety has become a national priority.

Addressing participants at the 7th Caribbean Food Safety and Security Conference at the Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall Resort, in Montego Bay, on March 18, the CEO said that priority is very significant, as economic and environmental forces have combined to threaten long-term food supply and prices.

“As the extension arm of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, RADA is committed to promoting the development of agriculture in Jamaica.  As part of this mandate, food safety and security is a critical part in our extension delivery to farmers of Jamaica,” Mr. Fulton said.

“This conference is particularly timely in light of these efforts to reduce the country’s food import bill, by growing  more of what we consume with programmes such as the Irish Potato Programme and the work being done with the Agro Parks across the island,” he noted.

The CEO said that the work being carried out by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica to facilitate a risk-based preventative approach rather than a reactive approach to food safety problems, is in line with guidelines stipulated by the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA).

“In February 2013, the Cabinet of Jamaica approved the National Food Safety Policy and Implementation Plan which provides the framework for the installation of the requisite legal institutional framework and infrastructure to secure public health through the delivery of safe foods for both local consumption and export,” Mr. Fulton pointed out.

He further informed that on May 1, 2013, Cabinet approved the Jamaican Food and Nutrition Security Policy which seeks to: ensure that a sufficient quantity of nutritious food of appropriate quality is available to all people in Jamaica, through increased domestic production and a sustainable level of imports; ensure that all people in Jamaica have access to adequate, safe and nutritious food at all times, and are not at risk of losing access to it due to external economic shocks and natural hazards.

“It is therefore against this background that RADA intends to further endorse the Food Security Law to ensure that the domestic production of selected agricultural produce…to meet domestic food, nutrition health goals, is (maintained) a continuous basis,” Mr. Fulton said.