Sup­port our farm­ers - eat what we grow!

Jamaica Gleaner - - ENTERTAINMENT -

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

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