Fri | Aug 14, 2020

Time for a local food bank

Published:Tuesday | May 26, 2020 | 12:12 AM


NOW THAT Jamaica appears to be coming out of COVID-19, we should, as a matter of course and going forward, move to establish a dedicated office in the Ministry of Agriculture to do exactly what, and more of what, State Minister Floyd Green is putting in train.

That office should be tasked with the responsibility of doing the work that biblical Joseph accomplished in Egypt – storing food for unforeseen period of environmental or man-made disaster. The ministry is currently on board to buy excess meat, mainly pork, from farmers who at this stage are undertaking massive culling of livestock. Logically, this will negatively impact supply just down the road.

While the search for temporary storage facilities have been mostly successful, the Government must invest in large food-storage and processing plants capable to mop up excess farm production. This could serve as a national protein food bank. Consequently, it would negate the oftentimes phenomenon of over- and underproduction and provide long-term food price stability and sustain the livelihood of the Jamaican farmers.

Joseph’s food bank did sustain the neighbouring nations during that time of great drought across the land.