3K5K RunWalk to Support Health and Food Security Initiative

Story Highlights About 200 persons are expected to participate in the Farm Up Jamaica Run/Walk scheduled to take place on Thursday, June 20, beginning at 5:00 a.m. at Emancipation Park in Kingston.The race is being held in conjunction with the Eighth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference from June 16 to 20 at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston, under the theme, ‘Jamaica and the Diaspora: Building Pathways for Sustainable Development’.It will have a 3K and 5K component, which will see runners beginning at the Emancipation Park and returning to the venue. Following the race, there will be the presentation of prizes and plaques and an address by Dr. Julius Garvey, son of National Hero, the Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey.Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith; and President, Union of Jamaica Alumni Associations (UJAA), Lesleyann Samuel, are also expected to speak.Race Coordinator, Neil Curtis, told JIS News that the Run/Walk is about health and food security.He said that Farm Up Jamaica, a diaspora organisation, aims to reduce the importation of foreign foods into Jamaica, increase Jamaica’s exports, and educate young people and farmers in the best practices of climate smart organic agriculture.“It is about increasing the health of Jamaicans by creating an option for organic food when you go to the supermarkets. Right now you only have what is available, but we want that local-grown organic food,” he said.Mr. Curtis said the project, which began in 2013, has trained about 600 young people in the art of organic sustainable climate smart agriculture.“We have done a number of research and development that relates to soil cleaning of the bauxite land and even some of the conventionally farmed lands. We figured how to regenerate those lands without using chemicals by using organic techniques and we have done that very successfully,” he added. The race is being held in conjunction with the Eighth Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference from June 16 to 20 at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston, under the theme, ‘Jamaica and the Diaspora: Building Pathways for Sustainable Development’. It will have a 3K and 5K component, which will see runners beginning at the Emancipation Park and returning to the venue. Following the race, there will be the presentation of prizes and plaques and an address by Dr. Julius Garvey, son of National Hero, the Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey. About 200 persons are expected to participate in the Farm Up Jamaica Run/Walk scheduled to take place on Thursday, June 20, beginning at 5:00 a.m. at Emancipation Park in Kingston. read more

Agricultural Sectors Adaptation to Climate Change Being Closely Monitored

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, says the Government is seeking to increase the rate and scale of adaptation of Jamaica’s agricultural sector to climate change.In a message read by Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Dr. Roy McNeil, at a workshop today (July 30), at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston, Mr. Shaw said Jamaica’s agricultural sector is particularly vulnerable to the vagaries of climate change.The workshop, titled, ‘Accelerating the Adoption of Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) in Jamaica’, was held under the theme ‘Promoting Climate Finance to Support Agriculture through Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Processes in Jamaica’.Mr. Shaw said data compiled by the Ministry revealed that between 2001 and 2012, damage and loss to the agricultural sector was estimated at US$214 million. He further noted that a subsequent drought in 2014 resulted in crop loss totalling approximately US$1 million.“As we speak, the agricultural sector is again being impacted by the severe drought now being experienced islandwide. This statistic is relevant as we seek to focus on the importance of agriculture to feed the majority of the population in the urban areas and as we take a closer look at the vulnerabilities of the majority of the population living close to the coastline,” the Minister noted.Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Peter Thompson, said what the country is experiencing in the environment now is not normal and what is happening is threatening food security and food sovereignty.“We as agriculturalists and stakeholders have to put measures in place and be proactive in addressing the issue of climate change,” the CEO said.The main objectives of the workshop were to discuss and validate the findings of the country study on NDCs and agriculture, [and] identify priority options and models to support investment from the private sector to support Climate Smart Agriculture.Additionally, discussions focused on mechanisms to raise the profile of agriculture in the implementation of NDCs in the country and identify key priority action points to promote climate action in the country, to be submitted to the regional meeting on NDCs and climate finance for agriculture.The workshop was an initiative of the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Co-operation, the Climate Change Division and RADA. In a message read by Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Dr. Roy McNeil, at a workshop today (July 30), at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston, Mr. Shaw said Jamaica’s agricultural sector is particularly vulnerable to the vagaries of climate change. Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, says the Government is seeking to increase the rate and scale of adaptation of Jamaica’s agricultural sector to climate change. Story Highlights The workshop, titled, ‘Accelerating the Adoption of Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) in Jamaica’, was held under the theme ‘Promoting Climate Finance to Support Agriculture through Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Processes in Jamaica’. read more