From left, Andrene Collings, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), Lenworth Fulton and Christopher Emmanuel, Chief Executive Officer, JAS ; view produce on display at the launch of Eat Jamaican Month held at the JAS headquarters in Kingston on November 7, 2018. Highlight of the month’s activities will be the Eat Jamaican Expo to be held on Eat Jamaican Day, November 25, on the lawns of Devon House in St. Andrew.
Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Andrene Collings, is urging Jamaicans to support local farmers and businesses by making eating Jamaican a part of their lifestyle.
This appeal was made at the launch of the 15th staging of Eat Jamaican Month held at the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) headquarters in Kingston on November 7.
Speaking on behalf of the Hon. Audley Shaw, who is on assignment in China, Collings noted that data from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica reveal that for the period January to July 2018, Jamaica’s food import bill was US$501.6 million, showing a 5.4 per cent increase over the similar period last year. This, she said, is an indication of the need to eat more Jamaican produce and products thereby growing Jamaica’s agricultural sector.
“By ‘Eating Jamaican”’ we support the economy because the money spent with our farmers and producers stays with us and can be reinvested with businesses and services in our communities,” said Collings.
Eating Jamaican, the acting permanent secretary said, is about supporting local agriculture by spending on fresher, tastier products that have been grown or processed locally.
Additionally, “Eating Jamaican means supporting local families and local communities. It means supporting local businesses, manufacturing and, ultimately, the sustainable growth of our economy,” Collings emphasised.
Collings commended the JAS for its commitment to the “Grow What We Eat…Eat What We grow” campaign while noting that greater effort must be made to get our institutions, stakeholders and families to support local producers.
Eat Jamaican Month was launched by the JAS in 2003 and marks the 15th anniversary of the ‘Eat What We Grow…Grow What We Eat’ campaign this year. Among the activities to be held to celebrate Eat Jamaican Month is a thanksgiving church service and mini expo on November 11, culminating with an Eat Jamaican Expo on November 25, which is designated as Eat Jamaican Day, on the lawns of Devon House in St. Andrew.
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The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF) has been charged with the responsibility of driving the integration of the production of primary agricultural produce along all the stages of the supply chain through to value added and facilitating full commercialization of outputs of the agriculture, manufacturing, and service sectors.
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