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JAMAICA | Rethink Use of Bernard Lodge lands to ensure Food Security says PNP

  • Written by calvin G. Brown, Wiredja.com
  • Published in Agriculture
Featured  People's National Party (PNP) Shadow Minister of Land and Housing Senator Sophia Frazer Binns. People's National Party (PNP) Shadow Minister of Land and Housing Senator Sophia Frazer Binns.
KINGSTON, Jamaica, April 8, 2020: The People's National Party (PNP) Shadow Minister of Land and Housing Senator Sophia Frazer Binns says the plans for the development of the Bernard Lodge lands must be reconsidered in light of the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to guarantee the nation’s food security.

In a statement today, Mrs. Frazer Binns said “These lands which the Government is planning to develop into residential and commercial properties are some of Jamaica’s most prime agricultural lands, and we need our arable land for food production as importation to feed our population will continue to be threatened by presence of pandemic like the one presently evolving,” the Shadow Minister said.

She noited that “the current Covid-19 Pandemic brings the issue of food security into sharp focus. It underscores the urgency with which the Government must act, to alleviate the far-reaching and devastating impact that the lack of food production will have on our nation to feed our own people.”

In a severe crisis, as we have been experiencing, every country is affected by the measures to deal with the COVID-19 epidemic, and therefore, it will be every country for itself, Senator Frazer Binns said.   For this reason, it is important to re-introduce the philosophy of self-reliance and get ahead of the curve in providing adequate and secure food to our people.

“We must embrace once again the campaign that encouraged Jamaican to “eat what we grow and grow what we eat”, the Shadow Minister said.

These realities must send an urgent signal to the government to rethink its plans for the use of Bernard Lodge lands and all Agricultural lands. Our survival rests on being able to feed ourselves.

“If nothing is done now, the magnitude of the problem will only increase. The global pandemic will lead to supply shortages and exorbitant prices, especially for Jamaicans who have become so import dependent,” Mrs. Frazer Binns said.  In fact, we are already experiencing the movement of prices on some items and warn the government to take steps to mitigate this emerging situation.

The Opposition stands ready to partner with the Government to promote and maintain the mechanism to ensure the nation's food security.

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  • Countries: Jamaica