Jamaica News: Jamaicans are being encouraged to give more support to local food producers, as this creates opportunities for the diversification of farms, and places greater focus on value-added products, micro and small business development and job creation.
The call comes from Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, in a message read by Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Andrene Collings, at the launch of November as ‘Eat Jamaican’ Month, at the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), downtown Kingston, on November 7.
“By eating Jamaican, we support the economy because the money spent with our farmers and producers stays with us and can be reinvested with businesses and services in our communities,” the Minister said.
Mr. Shaw argued that when Jamaicans buy more local products, eat more Jamaican foods and export more value-added products, this will have a positive impact on the economy.
“Eating Jamaican means supporting local communities, businesses, manufacturing and, ultimately, the sustainable growth of our economy,” the Minister said.
For his part, President of the JAS, Lenworth Fulton, emphasised the importance of the ‘Eat Jamaican’ campaign, noting that it is a showcase of Jamaica’s vibrant food culture.
“Jamaica is an agricultural country. Our richest heritage accrues from rural farming communities. All our best attitudes and values are to be found in traditional Jamaican country life, and central to our Jamaican culture is the food that we produce and the way in which we prepare it,” he said.
As part of the campaign, the JAS will be spearheading several initiatives to promote and enhance the Eat Jamaican thrust.
These include encouraging Jamaicans to integrate local produce in all diets; collaborating with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information to teach healthy lifestyles in schools, through the school-feeding programme; providing networking opportunities to link farmers with local restaurants, hotels, government institutions, hospitals and armed forces; helping in the research on the preparation of local foods and how to make these more convenient for consumption; and engaging chefs to use local foods in their menus and offerings.
As part of the Month, a Thanksgiving Service is to be held at the Commodore New Testament Church of God, Linstead, St. Catherine, on November 11 at 10:00 a.m., and an Eat Jamaican exposition on the lawns of Devon House on November 25, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Source: JIS News