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Make Eating Jamaican a Way of Life - Clarke
November 26, 2013

Minister Clarke and JAS President Senator Norman Grant unveil the 10th Anniversary Logo for the Eat Jamaican Campaign

KINGSTON:Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, the Hon Roger Clarke is calling upon all Jamaicans to make eating more local foodstuff and produce.


Speaking at the 10th Anniversary Ceremony and Exposition of Eat Jamaican Day 2013 at King’s House on Monday (November 25)  the Minister said thatplacing focus on increasing local food production and consumption should “not only be relegated to times of crisis, but must become a way of life for Jamaicans at all times and in all seasons”.


Recounting the genesis of the “grow what we eat; eat what we grow” campaign, he said it was launched against the background of global crisis and the War in Iraq which spurred the nation to place renewed focus on the Eat Jamaican Campaign.


“Given the potentially serious implications arising from the conflict in Iraq, in 2003 and onwards, we as a nation were sharply reminded then of just how critical the role of agriculture is in the nation’s life,” he said. “And it was against that background that we took a renewed look at striving for greater independence in terms of food production and consumption and to pay more attention to achieving greater levels of food security.”


The agriculture Minister said that it was also important to utilise events like Eat Jamaican Day and Eat Jamaican Month to strengthen the on-going public education and awareness programme. Focussing on national food security as the core of the Ministry’s objective, the Minister lauded the resilience of the agricultural sector and the heroic efforts of farmers for having withstoodseveral natural disasters since 2003 and achieved growth and improvement in the production and rate of self-sufficiency in for such produce as chicken meat, pork, eggs and irish potato.


He said Eat Jamaican Day 2013 was a good time to look forward to a time when We look forward to a time when Jamaica, like some of the more developed countries of the world, had greater levels of food self-sufficiency and security and a higher level of human development index. “We certainly look forward to growing more of what we eat and eating more of what we grow;when every Jamaican, man, woman and child had access to nutritious and affordable food and when we will no longer be faced with a staggering and unsustainable food import bill,” the minister said.


In his remarks, President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society, Senator Norman Grant outlined several initiatives aimed at continuing the Eat Jamaican Campaign.


Governor-General the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, patron of the event and the JAS, in endorsing the efforts, read the proclamation establishing the annual observance of November 25 as Eat Jamaican Day.
The day’s activities included a grand exposition of the east Lawns of King’s House with participation from scores of exhibitors showcasing agricultural and agro-processed products as well as the culinary heritage of the country.
                                               

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