Ahh, Jamaica… where mangoes and bananas are plentiful, and ackee breakfast is plucked right off the tree. All of the fruits and vegetables there must be fresh, right? Well, you might be surprised to learn how much of the produce sold and consumed in JA is actually inorganic genetically modified organisms imported from overseas. As elsewhere, the importing of GMOs has also had a destructive effect on local agriculture, putting many Jamaican farmers out of work. The costs of these imports, meanwhile, have essentially doubled in the last decade.
Farm Up Jamaica, a newly-launched outreach organization with a catchy motto (“Plant Sup’n”), is working to reduce the amount of foods being imported to Jamaica, and to put more of the island’s farmers back to work. It’s part of an overall push to make farming a patriotic pursuit in Jamaica, where fallout from the 2008 global food crisis highlighted a need for greater “food security.”
Farm Up Jamaica’s first initiative aims to increase Jamaican farmers’ capacity to grow organic onions. Although Jamaica has the capability to produce enough onions to meet demand, about 90 percent of those sold there currently are imported. The first crop of healthier, organic onions enabled by the initiative is expected to reach market by March 2014.
LargeUp fully supports this initiative, and to show our support we’ve made a donation to their campaign. Click here to learn more about their cause, and to donate. And be sure to like their page on Facebook, http://on.fb.me/