The recent world crisis because of the corona virus amplifies the importance of protecting the agricultural sector, and the remaining lands abandoned by the sugarcane industry.
The approach to the shortfall of housing in Jamaica, should not be a trade off with agricultural lands that will be vital for our important quest to be self reliant. We should focus on more innovative ways, like redeveloping urban areas that are in disrepair, and on surrounding hills that have no agricultural value.
My appeal this morning to you Mr Holness, is to rethink using Bernard lodge to build housing, so that we won’t be blindsided by a plague or famine in China or America regarding our ability to feed our people.
I believe that feeding our own is OUR responsibility, and since we have the means to do so we should.
For many years we have used the excuse of how much cheaper it is to buy foreign food, and to some extent, that may be a valid argument, however the fact that most farms across the world are being subsidised by government, highlights the importance of that sector to the viability of one’s country, especially in a time of crisis.
Mr Prime Minister, there has to be a comprehensive approach to farming, relating to best practices based on new technology, and the kind of foods best suited to the Jamaican environment,.
Let’s not wish that certain foods would do well here, but plant foods based on their viability, and success required, and profit to our farmers who need all the help they can get.
I understand that we in Jamaica have little patience, or tend to think long term. Unfortunately, that is our reality. We like quick fixes, however your leadership as well as education would change the equation, and attitudes that prevail, so that Jamaica can realise the prosperity you promoted that got you elected.
Please put priority on our food security sir as our lives depend on you doing so. Just think about the world being on lock-down, and the consequences to our country if we cannot import food.
By Mark Cameron
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