For the past couple of months, the Jamaican government has sought to make the country more food secure by creating opportunities for self-sufficiency. The Campaign “Grow Smart, East Smart” is an illustration of the country’s willingness to expand the implementation of agricultural practices in urban areas, including backyard gardening and vertical farming.
“We recently launched our new national campaign, ‘Grow Smart, Eat Smart’ which improves on what we have been doing over the years, but really and truly, the underpinning of it, is a focus on driving resilience, advancing sustainability, improving efficiency, making sure we can do more with what we have,” Minister Charles underscored in an interview with Jamaica Information Service.
“Whether it is vertical or hydroponics, there are systems that can be introduced to our urban areas,” Says Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr.
The Jamaica 4-H Clubs and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) both developed advanced controlled environment agriculture so that the population can benefit and learn in schools.
“We want people to know that they don’t need to be farming land, they can utilize different techniques to farm their vegetables and small crops,” he mentions.
Meanwhile, the minister ensures the commitment of the ministry to expand these programs to further impact the lives of Jamaicans throughout the Island.
“Part of the ‘Grow Smart, Eat Smart’ linkages and partnerships will include discussions around the use of agriculture in urban areas. We aim that as we develop more in terms of construction, we also integrate the environmental issues and the issues around food security. We want to train our people to be able to make their own food,” The Minister said.