KINGSTON — Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Dr. Christopher Tufton, says that Jamaica must employ effective waste management strategies as an integral part of the development model.
Waste management, he said, does not only relate to collecting garbage, but also the preservation of vital resources such as food and water.
“We are going to have to confront, even in agriculture, as it relates to food security… how to preserve what we have, ” Dr. Tufton said as he addressed the National Solid Waste Management Authority’s (NSWMA) staff awards ceremony held recently at the Courtleigh Auditorium in New Kingston.
According to the Agriculture Minister, waste of resources, particularly food, is a problem around the world.
He pointed out that the world produces about 1.3 billion tonnes of food per annum and a third of that is wasted. He said that in Jamaica, 30 to 40 per cent of food produced is lost, which amounts to about $5 billion per annum.
He blamed the loss on improper reaping of crops, inadequate storage, and improper packing of produce for transport. He noted as well that often, rather than processing the produce, it is consumed in its primary form so much is wasted.
Turning to water management, Dr. Tufton implored farmers to manage the water used for cultivation efficiently, and utilise conservation mechanisms such as drip irrigation and rain water harvesting systems.
During the ceremony, several employees of the NSWMA, who have displayed exemplary work attitude, were honoured. The event was held as part of Solid Waste Management Week, under the theme ‘Transforming Waste to Resource’.
By ALECIA SMITH, JIS Reporter