Turning to Agriculture… Eat what we grow!

| May 26, 2012

Staff Writer Nastasia Grant

The Jamaican government has been encouraging the national public to eat what they grow. This is in a bid to garner support for our local farmers and producers.

The idea is brilliant, as we are encouraged to plant in our backyards and make use of all our resources as well as to buy “Jamaican”.  This is one of the many ways in which we can support our country, buying local produce which will return to the Jamaican economy.

W e would also be helping to keep farming alive and provide a means for farmers to financially support their families and dependants.

Buying and indulging in Jamaican products means we are supporting ourselves which is the key in our country’s development.  Eating what we grow and buying what we produce.

Instead of buying imported ground provisions such as potatoes; buy the local potatoes.   Local produce can be up to twice the price as some imported ground provisions. Most imported produce are cheaper than its local counterparts.

This deters many Jamaicans from buying local produce in order to save a dollar. Nevertheless, if you want quality it is wise to buy from your Jamaican farmers as your food will be more organic and less chemically grown.

Some Jamaicans are committed to buying the most affordable goods available in these difficult economic times. But did you know that some of these fruits and vegetables that are cheaper may not be the healthiest.

Chemicals are used to quicken the growth process and may be contributing to your poor health rather than providing you with the nutrients you need or you think you are getting.

Of course, importers find it more affordable to import large quantities of fruits and vegetables, rather than buying small quantities from our farmers. This actually takes away from the economic development of our country as we fail to support our people.

Jamaican Apple

Our farmers cannot afford to sell their goods at a lesser or equal price to compete with our foreign competitors due to processing costS; transportation, equipment, fertilizers, larceny and other unexpected natural disasters. We lack the technology to compete with foreign producers.

Importers are concerned about buying goods that consumers will purchase, and their job is to meet the demand of the public. Hence, saving money while making money becomes the issue.

Our farmers cannot meet the demand of the market; hence, we import goods to fill the gap, which is good, but local farmers need better representation, competitive prices for their produce and more government involvement to compete in the market.

Our local farmers should be our first choice, if we buy local produce, imagine how many Jamaicans would be employed. We need to invest in and support our local farmers. Let us embrace this concept… “Instead of giving me a fish, teach me how to fish…”

Support Jamaica…Buy Jamaican…Eat Jamaican

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