The Eat Jamaica campaign: Game-changer for the Jamaican economy
ON NOVEMBER 25, 2003 the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) under my leadership as president, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries launched the ‘Eat Jamaican’ Campaign under the theme, ‘Grow What We Eat ... Eat What We Grow’ with the primary objective to drive a strategy of food security, reduced imports of approximately US$1 billion annually and increase the quantity and quality of our local food which would ultimately lead to stable prices and healthy food for our consumers. [Thirteen years after we are declaring the campaign as the game changer for the Jamaica economy.]
The campaign lead by the JAS under the distinguished patronage of the Governor General Sir Patrick has served the initiative of establishing food security path for our nation as well as aggressively reposition agriculture and rural development as the lifeblood of the Jamaican economy and the pillars on which we as a people and country will achieve economic independence.
It was the agricultural sector that has lead to Jamaica passing 14 consecutive quarter IMF test and has recorded a 28 per cent growth in the third quarter
of 2016 to record the largest quarter of economic growth for the Jamaican economy in 14 years. All Jamaican to join us in thanking God and saluting the work of our over 240,000 farmers and fisher folks, Ministry of Agriculture, JAS, RADA and the 4-H and all other stakeholders. The farmers have increased substantially the quality of the Jamaican produce and our consumers are now appreciating that the quality of local farm produce is better than imported produce. We are now self sufficient in a number of crops, Irish potatoes, moving from importing 90 percent of the country’s demand six years ago to now producing 90 per cent of the demand. Our school feeding programmes are no longer relying on imported milk
powder but using local juices, which is healthier for our children.
Agriculture not only gives riches to a nation but the only riches she can call her own. As we continue to work to promote the campaign I would like to thank the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, JAS board of management, JAS members, exhibitors and stakeholders for their continuous support of the campaign.
The JAS continues to support our farmers, agricultural agencies and stakeholders for the development and growth of the sector and the tremendous effort in nation building.
As we aim to reduce food imports by increasing crop production to achieve overall economic growth and food security in Jamaica. We invite all Jamaicans to be a part of our 13th anniversary celebrations as we continue to ‘Grow What We Eat ... Eat What We Grow. Senator Norman Grant President
A produce display by Jamaica 4-H Clubs.