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4-H Clubs expo to feature yellow yam

Published:Thursday | April 19, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Tom Connor, managing director of Toyota Jamaica Limited, who seemed particularly impressed with some of the items on display, gets an explanation about the ingredients from Human Resources Manager Candice Walker, Toyota Jamaica, at the recent media launch of the Jamaica 4-H National Achievement Expo, held at 4-H Clubs headquarters, 95 Old Hope Road, St Andrew.

Christopher Serju, Gleaner Writer

Yellow Yam will be the featured main ingredient in all the agro-processing and valued-added products at the Jamaica 4-H Clubs' National Achievement Expo to be held at the Denbigh Showgrounds, Clarendon, on Friday, April 27.

This will mark the culmination of parish achievement expos and bring together winners of some 25 events from each of the 14 parishes vying for top honours in the areas of agriculture, home economics, leadership skills, social skills, healthy lifestyles and environmental studies. A much-anticipated event is the participation of the 'cubbies', aged between five and eight years, who participate in special events including seed identification and recitation.

Lenworth Fulton, executive director of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, used the recent media launch to remind Jamaicans of the importance of the expo in promoting the use of local foods beyond the traditional ways.

He argued: "How many students will look on yellow yam and say we are going to go into it as a business? How many of them will see it in the market and put it to 20-30 different uses and become consumers of our own local food? That's the essence of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs."

This year, the annual event takes on special significance having been endorsed by the Jamaica 50 Secretariat, and will feature a Jamaica-50 village giving patrons the opportunity to learn about pre- and post-Independence Jamaica. Attractions will include the National School Garden Display, healthy lifestyle, agro-processing and work projects, of course, featuring yellow yam. The agriculture technology park is another huge attraction, which, this year, will be sponsored by Toyota Jamaica.

The healthy lifestyle area will have as its theme 'Your Health Your Responsibility' and highlight for patrons the importance of eating right to achieve and maintain good health. Of course, this will include nutritional information about local foods, in keeping with getting Jamaicans to eat more local foods.

In addition to supporting local farmers, this will go a far way in cutting the annual food import bill of more than US$800 million, Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke told the launch.