Jamaicans are being encouraged to purchase more locally grown fresh produce as world trade slows in light of the spread of Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

These produce are an important part of a healthy diet because they contain essential vitamins, minerals fibre and other nutrients needed to build the immune system.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Floyd Green, who issued the call while on a tour of a farm in St. Catherine, on March 19, urged consumers to check the labels to ensure the produce is coming from Jamaican farms.

“By doing so, we are encouraging our farmers. It also represents an opportunity for us to try new produce that are grown in Jamaica such as cantaloupe, honey dew and romaine lettuce. We must recognise that anything grown in Jamaica is of a high quality. Support our farmers during this COVID- 19 crisis and support Jamaica,” he urged.

Mr. Green also encouraged farmers to still go out into their fields as “we are depending on you”.

“The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries is here to help you and will help you in this difficult time. We know that you are the best at what you do,” he said.

Mr. Green’s remarks follow recent assurances given that there are adequate supplies of agricultural produce available for the next three months as well as other items such as eggs, poultry, and fish. Assurance has also been given that that there are adequate farm inputs available such as seeds to last throughout the year.

In the meantime, St. Catherine farmer, Terry Allijohn also echoed similar sentiments to Mr. Green encouraging people to purchase locally grown produce and for other farmers across the island to go into their own fields and continue with the business of farming.

“We need persons to buy our local produce. This represents an opportunity for our farmers to promote the importance of farmers to the country and the vital role they place in ensuring food security,” he said.

Source: https://www.micaf.gov.jm/content/jamaicans-encouraged-purchase-locally-grown-produce-light-covid-19-spread