Acting Chief Planning Analyst in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Clifford Spencer, is encouraging more Jamaicans to get involved in agricultural activities in order to support the Government’s thrust of achieving the country’s food security.
Speaking at a recent public forum on ‘Climate Change and the Future of Food Security: Positioning Agro-Food Systems for our Health and Wealth’, at the University of the West Indies, Mona, St Andrew, Spencer underscored the need to promote the sustainable production of safe, affordable, nutritious and high-quality Jamaican food at competitive market prices.
This, he said, is imperative in light of the projected negative effects of climate change on agricultural sustainability.
“Jamaica’s food and nutrition security is threatened by the spectre of climate change, as these cyclical natural events have increased in intensity over the recent past, thus making Jamaica more prone to temporary food insecurity. It becomes even more understandable why food and nutrition security is such an important policy imperative for the country,” he said.
“Jamaica’s food and nutrition security is threatened by the spectre of climate change.”— Clifford Spencer, Agriculture Ministry representative
Spencer said it is against this background that Jamaica’s Food and Nutrition Security Policy was promulgated in 2013.
The policy is anchored on four pillars: food availability, food access, food utilisation and the stability of food supply.
Spencer also underscored the importance of creating an enabling environment to facilitate increased food production, by engaging farmers and institutions, and utilising the legal and regulatory framework, among other channels.
“This approach requires that priority commodities be selected on the basis of promoting a nutritionally balanced diet comprised of local foods, in line with the national food-based dietary guidelines,” he said.