Support our farmers - eat what we grow!
LET’S APPLAUD the Jamaica Agricultural Society for its role over the years in encouraging more of us to eat Jamaican. As we welcome Eat Jamaican Month 2016, let us use this occasion also to congratulate the thousands of Jamaican consumers who, over the years, have remained committed to the consumption of local foods.
The ‘Eat Jamaican’ campaign is more than just a slogan. It is not just about getting people to eat more Jamaican foods. Equally, it is about the thousands of farmers across the land whose incomes would have otherwise been lost to imports. Eating Jamaican means a more sustainable future through the ongoing consumption of what we grow, more investments in agriculture, stronger support for local businesses, job creation, and the circulation of more money in our economy.
When we eat Jamaican more of our farmers, manufacturers, distributors, restaurants and grocers will be able to expand their operations and, of course, consumers will also benefit. By extension, with increased demand for Jamaican products, more businesses will be started, and more of our young people will be able to see agriculture as an attractive career option. Eating Jamaican will also lead to improved product quality, greater consistency of local supplies, and the creation of a sound base on which to expand our export capacity. In essence, eating Jamaican is about our country’s economic growth and development.
In this context, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries remains firmly committed to the Government’s five per cent economic growth target, towards which agriculture plays a major role.
We urge all Jamaicans to consume more of our own products, thereby supporting our farmers, agro-processors, our local entrepreneurs, and the country’s overall economic growth prospects. KARL SAMUDA Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries