Jamaicans are again being urged to consume more locally produced food to aid in reducing the country’s high importation bill which stood at just over US$900 million in 2018.
This renewed call comes from Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Monique Gibbs, who said that simply “eating Jamaican” can have the desired impact, which includes retaining local jobs and saving foreign exchange.
“Eat Jamaican is a call to all Jamaicans to eat local, buy local, so that together we can grow and build Jamaica. I urge you all to help make a difference,” she said.
Gibbs was speaking at the launch of the 2019 ‘Eat Jamaican’ Month, at the Mega Mart Wholesale Club on Upper Waterloo Road in St Andrew on Friday, November 8.
“It is about spending your money on fresher, tastier products that have been grown or processed locally.”— Gibbs
She noted that eating Jamaican has many advantages, pointing out that one of the most critical is the potential impact this can have on the economy.
“Buying more Jamaican, eating more Jamaican and exporting more Jamaican value-added products will certainly have a positive impact on the economy,” she said.
More than a one-month event
The Chief Technical Director reminded that eating Jamaican is much more than a one-day, or one-month event.
“It is about supporting local agriculture,” she said. “It is about spending your money on fresher, tastier products that have been grown or processed locally, instead of being imported.”
She further noted that eating Jamaican also means supporting local families, communities and businesses and ultimately the sustainable growth of the economy.
“With every dollar spent on a non-Jamaican product, we lose about two to four times the development impact that would be gained from spending the same dollar on locally-made products,” Gibbs said.