JAS sup­ports small farm­ers’ role in emerg­ing cannabis in­dus­try

Daily Observer (Jamaica) - - NEWS -

JA­MAICA Agri­cul­tural So­ci­ety (JAS) Pres­i­dent Len­worth Ful­ton said Wed­nes­day that his or­gan­i­sa­tion will be fight­ing for the in­clu­sion of small cannabis (ganja) farm­ers in the devel­op­ment of the in­dus­try.

“We will be open­ing our mouths very loud, [be­cause] it is this same coun­try that im­pris­oned peo­ple; many from my dis­trict went to prison for a year and six months, and two years, for hav­ing one ganja tree. Now that the trade is open­ing up, we can­not and will not sit idly by and al­low the big guys to shovel out the small farm­ers out of cannabis,” Ful­ton said.

“In fact, I am dis­cussing with some per­sons from St Ann to make a prop­erty that we (JAS) have down there avail­able to grow cannabis. So, we want to get in the mid­dle of it — to sup­port the small farm­ers to grow their stuff, as well,” he noted.

“Many, many years, the Ras­ta­man have car­ried this ball to their peril… And the JAS must now take that charge for­ward for them,” he added, to ap­plause from the au­di­ence at Wed­nes­day’s launch of the an­nual ‘Eat Ja­maican’ month cam­paign at the JAS head of­fice in down­town Kingston.

Ful­ton also ex­plained that JAS has al­ready writ­ten to the Cannabis Li­cens­ing Au­thor­ity about its in­ten­tion to par­tic­i­pate in the process.

JAS is cel­e­brat­ing the 15th an­niver­sary of its ‘Eat Ja­maican’ cam­paign, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Min­istry of In­dus­try, Com­merce, Agri­cul­ture and Fish­eries (MICAF), in Novem­ber.

Ful­ton said that dur­ing the month, the so­ci­ety will be en­cour­ag­ing Ja­maicans to in­te­grate lo­cal pro­duce in all di­ets, and will be col­lab­o­rat­ing with the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion to not only teach healthy life­styles dur­ing the month, but to im­ple­ment it through the school-feed­ing pro­grammes.

He said that JAS will also be en­gag­ing the Min­istry of Health, un­der its Ja­maica Moves pro­gramme, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the 4-H clubs, to ap­peal to youths in the pro­mo­tion of healthy life­styles.

“The Eat Ja­maican cam­paign, in its new dis­po­si­tion, must host a sym­po­sium where chefs are en­gaged to in­tro­duce lo­cal foods in their menus,” Ful­ton added.

Per­ma­nent sec­re­tary in MICAF An­drene Collings read the mes­sage from the min­is­ter, Aud­ley Shaw, which said that he was very happy with the cur­rent prospects and the op­por­tu­ni­ties in the agri­cul­tural and agro-in­dus­trial sec­tors.

“Eat­ing Ja­maican is not just about re­duc­ing our trade deficit, how­ever. It is also about con­tribut­ing to the devel­op­ment and growth of our econ­omy through, for ex­am­ple, the di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion of our farms, a greater fo­cus on value-added prod­ucts, as well as mi­cro and small busi­ness devel­op­ment,” Shaw’s mes­sage said.

“Let me urge all Ja­maicans to sup­port our farm­ers, our agro-pro­ces­sors, our mi­cro and small busi­nesses. I urge all Ja­maicans to sup­port our ef­forts dur­ing the month, and to let eat­ing Ja­maican be­come a part of our life­style,” he added.

FUL­TON... we want to get in the mid­dle of it Cannabis plants

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