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Jamaicans need to stop importing items says Seaga

Published:Thursday | September 20, 2012 | 12:39 PM

The Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA) believes the country’s food import bill can be reduced significantly if more people bought locally produced goods.

JMA’s Deputy President, Metry Seaga, said Jamaicans need to stop importing items that are available locally.

The Minister of Agriculture, Roger Clarke, has said that Jamaica continues to satisfy its food needs through importation, which puts the country among the most import-dependent nations in the Latin America and Caribbean region.

However, Seaga said he believes the government can turn things around if it buys local items when and where it’s possible.

The JMA’s deputy president said his organisation is ready, willing and able to work with the government to ensure the food- import gap is closed.

The agriculture minister said, last year, the country’s food import bill increased to US$936 million.

He also said the gap between food import and export continues to widen at a frightening pace each year.