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Fulton: Put bite into Eat Jamaican Campaign

Published:Wednesday | November 7, 2018 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju/ Gleaner Writer
Lenworth Fulton (centre), president of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), and Christopher Emanuel (right), chief executive officer of JAS, in a lively discussion with Andrene Collings, acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, at the JAS’ launch of the15th anniversary of the Eat Jamaican Campaign 2018, at the head office of the JAS, 67 Church Street yesterday.

The time is long overdue for consumers, farmers, and the Jamaican economy to begin to benefit in a tangible way from the Eat Jamaican Campaign, which is now in its 15th year, according to President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) Lenworth Fulton.

"We must also ensure that our children in our schools eat healthy from our farms. Why can't this Eat Jamaican Campaign ensure that a child in school gets an egg from our farms, a glass of milk, a ripe banana, each day?" he asked at yesterday's launch of Eat Jamaican Month at the JAS head office, 67 Church Street, downtown Kingston.

"We must use this campaign to spur the Government and the private sector to ensure that rural and Jamaican people who are engaged in farming enjoy the same level of life like doctors, lawyers, engineers, and, may I say, politicians," the agriculturalist charged.


New initiatives


Launched in 2003, the Eat Jamaican Campaign has embraced new initiatives to integrate local produce in all diets, including the hospitality trade, government institutions, as well as the Jamaica Moves programme to appeal to young people and promote healthy lifestyles.

"These initiatives are important to better support our farmers and will impact local production in order to ensure the stability of the agricultural sector, which contributes to the national GDP (gross domestic product)," Fulton pointed out.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Andrene Collings said that the Eat Jamaican Campaign was more than just reducing the trade deficit.

"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.

"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," Collings explained.