February 17, 2021 | Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie |
The government’s focus in internal food security has been reaping great rewards to consumers. Condiments and vegetables in particular have become more affordable in the marketplace by being in abundance.
Downturn In Prices
A typical case of supply causing downward prices. It was in November 2020 up to January 2021 consumers were asked to pay for example two hundred (Ja$200) dollars a pound per tomatoes, the small ones which are most popular and used in cooking and in say tossed salads for the table and in restaurants. Yesterday, Tuesday February 2, 2020 it was offered in the market district for twenty Jamaican (Ja$20) dollars a ten percent drop in price. This is quite a break to the consumer. Other products like carrots and sweet potatoes to name a few.
There has been a campaign to promote “Eat Jamaican and Buy Jamaican”. This approach has been paying rich dividends. There is no reason why as a region with excellent all round sunny weather we should not be able to feed ourselves. As you traverse the country side we see a lot of idle lands and idle hands.
Unemployment has been up under COVID 19. Moving from 7. 8 percent to now approximately 14 percent. We need to have this matter addressed agriculture may just be the answer to our economic recovery, what with tourism experiencing a down turn. Agriculture is known to assist with GDP growth nationally. It there means that if we are to recover, then agriculture is the quickest way out.
Agriculture does contribute significantly to Growth Development Product (GDP) of Jamaica’s economy. It is estimated that it contributes anywhere from (5) five percent and more.
We hope our people will get smart and take up the challenge of food processing when there is a glut.
A new Health Insurance Scheme plan has been introduced. It has been long talked about.
Insurance for fishing boats and crop insurance is being worked on. Minister Floyd Green has been working hard to make a difference.
We wish him well.
Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is a veteran journalist with International exposure.