Agriculture Minister calls on schools to push 'Grow Smart, Eat Smart' campaign
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Pearnel Charles Jr

KINGSTON, Jamaica - Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Pearnel Charles Jr, has called on schools to engage their student population in the Ministry’s ‘Grow Smart, Eat Smart’ campaign.

Speaking at a ‘World Food Day’ event at Vere Technical High School in Clarendon on October 20, the Minister suggested that administrators and teachers can put together various competitions that promote the tenets of the campaign and help to drive the country further towards food security.

“Ask your students to challenge themselves to put together menus, posters, songs… get every child from your school involved. This is the way, this is how we build a nation,” the Minister said.

The Grow Smart, Eat Smart campaign, which was launched earlier this year, is aimed at driving resilience, advancing sustainability, and improving efficiency in agriculture. It targets several priority areas, such as crop production and climate-smart practices and technologies.

Charles Jr further highlighted that the Ministry will be applying $15 million to help push the initiative in the schools.

“We're going to be providing vegetable gardening packages, such as seeds, small tools, baby chicks, feed and animals, so that schools can start their units and get the students and teachers involved in learning the best practices at an early age. We will also be helping and giving support to instal aquaponics and hydroponics systems across Jamaica, for us to have integrated vegetable and fish farming,” Charles Jr outlined.

In the meantime, the Minister, who recently travelled to Japan on official business, said that Jamaica can take lessons from the Japanese.

“When I was in Japan, every single person, from four years old to 44 years old, was singing the same song. Every single person values themselves… and everybody is working together in seamless coordination towards the betterment of the country. That is what I want for Jamaica,” he said.

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