Jamaican Mommies by Shanoy Coombs: From Jamaica; for the world


It’s World Food Day: Let’s celebrate our Jamaican farmers

Last year we blogged about World Food Day and because Food is so important to all our lives, well we just had to do it again!!

This year World Food Day is being celebrated under the theme: Family Farmers: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth and so appropriate too right? as this theme plays up the dual role of farmers as providers and protectors of the Earth’s Natural Resources. The theme also ties in with the United Nations’ declaration of 2014 as the International Year of Family Farmers (IYFF) as the Organization especially through its Food and Agriculture arm aims to raise awareness around the challenges that are faced by family farmers, even as they contribute so much to feeding several nations.

Wow, Imagine where we’d be without our many farmers? and I say this as I gleefully chow down on a slightly ripened, mostly green june plum that has been peeled and rubbed in just the right amount of salt! Than you my farmers!!

On a more significant note though, United Nations statistics show that well over 576 million farms in the world of which over 500 million are family owned.  These family farmers are responsible for over 56% of agricultural production. (Let’s raise a salute to our foodie heroes). The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Infographic below also gives some pretty impressive data . Just check out the percentage of family farmers in North and Central America!!

But who are Family Farmers really?
According to the United Nations FAO Jamaica Representation, Family Farmers are often referred to as small or subsistence farmers who do small scale production of crops, livestock, forestry, fishery and aquaculture and have the following features:

  1. Produce small quantities using limited resources
Limited access to land, capital resources and services
Predominant use of family labour
Farm or fishing activity is main source of family income

 Sounds like a whole lot of challenges to contend with, all for the love of feeding the world right?

In Jamaica alone, there there are an estimated 228,683 farmers with 78.7% (or 179,999) of them producing on under 1 hectare or 2.5 acres.  At the end of 2013, there were 23, 323 registered fishers and 6300 registered boats An impressive feat really given the many challenges our farmers face.

So the next time you enjoy that delectable bite of steamed fish with crackers and okra or a tall order of carrot-beetroot juice or even a creamy serving of Ice cream, remember our many farmers and how their challenges and outcomes help to feed us day by day.

Have you lifted a hat off as yet? I have!!!  So use this World Food Day to focus on those behind much of what is delivered from farm to fork …Indeed our often Silent Heroes.

While you’re at it, you can join the World Food Day Celebrations by viewing and sharing the brief World Food Day Video which puts into perspective the very important role of our farmers!!

Want to know more about World Food Day? visit the World Food Day Web Page

Oh PS. There is a world Food Day Poster Competition for Kids & we will share details in another post so stay tuned!!!


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Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.
Thomas Jefferson
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