Jamaican News

Young People Should Lead Campaign for Healthy Diets – Hutchinson

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson, says young people should lead a campaign for healthy diets.

The Minister said with Jamaica recording 12,773 deaths in 2014 due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and the economy to lose up to US$17.2 billion in output over the next 15 years, there is an urgent need for the consumption of healthy foods.

Delivering an address at the 2017 staging of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs National Achievement Expo, held at the Denbigh Showground, in Clarendon on April 28, the Minister said health challenges speak to the need for “us to change our eating habits”.

Mr. Hutchinson told his audience that the establishment of school gardens at educational institutions across the island is an initiative to ensure that young children are exposed to locally produced foods, emphasising that all the produce from the gardens must be put into breakfast programmes at the schools.

“I urge each and every ‘clubbite’ to be an ambassador for the school gardens and breakfast programme, thus promoting a healthy lifestyle – no bag juice – but more fruits and vegetables,” Mr. Hutchinson implored.

The Minister argued that sustainable growth of the agricultural sector is heavily dependent on an infusion of young people with new and creative ideas.

“Based on what I have seen here today, I am convinced that there is an abundance of ideas resident in our young people, just waiting to be developed,” Mr. Hutchinson said.

While calling on the youth to build on the ideas that they have into making products, the Minister said everything should be done to utilise “our produce to the fullest”.

“The Ministry is encouraging the expansion of the cottage industry, as it is these small and medium-size enterprises that create and retain wealth, generate employment and provide support for private-sector growth and expansion,” he said.

Article by: Garfield L. Angus
Photo from: www.jis.gov.jm

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