Get involved in farming, says acting chief planning analyst at MICAF

Get involved in farming, says acting chief planning analyst at MICAF

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

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Clifford Spencer, acting chief planning analyst at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF) is imploring Jamaicans to engage in farming so that food security can become our reality.

Speaking at a recent public forum which was held in recognition of World Food Day under the theme 'Climate Change and the Future of Food Security: Positioning Agro-Food Systems for our Health and Wealth', at the University of The West Indies in St Andrew, Spencer emphasised the need to encourage the sustainable production of safe, affordable, nutritious and high-quality Jamaican food at competitive market prices.

He said that food sustainability is very important given the prediction that climate change will have negative effects on the agriculture sector in the near future.

“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.

He also stated that it is against this background that Jamaica's Food and Nutrition Security Policy was publicised in 2013. The policy is anchored on four pillars: food availability, food access, food utilisation and the stability of food supply.

Spencer further outlined the importance of creating an enabling environment to assist the progress of food production, by appealing to farmers and institutions, and making use of the legal and regulatory framework, among other channels.

According to Spencer, 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.

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