Wednesday, March 30, 2011

National Baking supports Eat Jamaican

Sonia Linton with Ity, Fancy Cat, 'Doctor Bird' and friends after the unveiling of the National Baking Truck bearing the Eat Jamaican logo. Occasion was today's Eat Jamaican Road Show at Bronx Taxi Park in Mandeville.
- Staci Smith photo

Eat Ja fun!

Doctor Bird and Best Dressed Chicken in a dance contest!
Bronx Taxi Park - Mandeville
Sent from my BlackBerry® device from Digicel

Friday, March 18, 2011

Eat Jamaica's Doctor Bird is groooovy!

'Doctor Bird' promotes healthy Jamaican eating and struts his/her stuff with Agriculture Minister Dr Chris Tufton at the Coronation Market where the 'Eat Jamaican' campaign was recently launched.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Jamaica and the Irish

Message from 'Backyard Labrish'

St. Patrick's Day is upon us and as the world  celebrates, Jamaicans will join in the celebration, 
and not just because we love a good party, we do. 
We will be celebrating the Irish and their contribution 
To Jamaica's History and diverse culture. 

As we learn from  Jamaica's 'Pieces of the Past'
by Dr. Rebecca Tortello, in the mid 1600's the first 
group of Irish Indentured Servants arrived on the 
Island. Many came directly from Ireland and others 
from Barbados, the then British Colony.
Join us this week as we continue to unravel 
Jamaica's Motto "Out of Many One People" 
with a look at the interesting details of the Irish and their many contributions. 
Backyards continues to: Celebrate, Enlighten & Preserve the rich diverse culture of Jamaica: Land We Love! 

To Join the Labrish and share your stories call

Wednesday 3/16/11 at 8:00PM EST or
Listen in By clicking the link Below:

To set a reminder: GO NOW to this link & click on the Remind Me button Join the labrish!
Marshall Marshall
Producer & Host
Sent from my BlackBerry® device from Digicel

Sunday, March 13, 2011

WOMEN'S DAY by Michael Abrahams

- Bryan Cummings photo

Message and Poem by Dr Michael Abrahams
To: Sunday Herald Managing Director R. Christene King:

These assaults on our journalists and the misogynistic behaviour of our leaders have to be addressed. They need to be held accountable for their actions.
I wrote this poem in response to Warmington's crass behaviour. Feel free to distribute it among your colleagues and to publish it in your newspaper if you desire.

I support you all 100%.

WOMEN'S DAY by Michael Abrahams

On International Women's Day
A politician did handle a woman a way

It did tek place near the beginning of the nightly 8 o'clock news
Me did tune in to hear wha a gwaan and to listen to people's views
When over dual citizenship this minister give up him seat
And the male anchor ask if it was unethical fi tek so long fi dweet

But the word "unethical" upset the man and rub him bad the wrong way
And him mek up noise and cuss an' ting and create the most ray ray
Then the female anchor ask what word she should use, in a gentle tone
But the man go bawl out "Go to Hell" and then hang up the phone

Me seh, me frighten when me hear the man go bawl out "Go to Hell"
What a bootu, what a cruff, what a big skettel
For me hear interview with bad man like Ninja and Kartel
But me never hear them raise them voice and diss woman and yell

If our leader them tan so vulgar, so nasty, crass and crude
Who are they to reprimand our youths when they are being rude?
And if them deal with our women in ways that are so misogynistic
Is expecting any better from our young men really being realistic?

On International Women's Day
A politician did handle a woman a way

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Received this in an email from Neville Hoo

So much of our history is lost to us because we often do not write the history books, do not film the documentaries, or do not pass the accounts down from generation to generation.

One documentary now touring the film festival circuit, telling us to "Always Remember" is "Black Survivors of the Holocaust" (1997).

Outside the U.S., the film is entitled "Hitler's Forgotten Victims" (Afro-Wisdom Productions). It codifies another dimension to the "Never Forget" Holocaust story - our dimension.

Did you know that in the 1920's, there were 24,000 Blacks living in Germany? Neither did I. Here's how it happened, and how many of them were eventually caught unawares by the events of the Holocaust.

Like most West European nations, Germany established colonies in Africa in the late 1800's in what later became Togo, Cameroon, Namibia , and Tanzania. German genetic experiments began there, most notably involving prisoners taken from the 1904 Heroro Massacre that left 60,000 Africans dead, following a 4-year revolt against German colonization. After the shellacking Germany received in World War I, it was stripped of its African colonies in 1918.

As a spoil of war, the French were allowed to occupy Germany in the Rhineland - a bitter piece of real estate that has gone back and forth between the two nations for centuries. The French willfully deployed their own colonized African soldiers as the occupying force. Germans viewed this as the final insult of World War I, and, soon thereafter, 92% of them voted in the Nazi party.

Hundreds of the African Rhineland-based soldiers intermarried with German women and raised their children as Black Germans. In Mein Kampf, Hitler wrote about his plans for these "Rhineland Bastards". When he came to power, one of his first directive was aimed at these mixed-race children. Underscoring Hitler's obsession with racial purity, by 1937, every identified mixed-race child in the Rhineland had been forcibly sterilized, in order to prevent further "race polluting" as Hitler termed it.

Hans Hauck, a Black Holocaust survivor and a victim of Hitler's mandatory sterilization programme, explained in the film "Hitler's Forgotten Victims" that, when he was forced to undergo sterilization as a teenager, he was given no anesthetic. Once he received his sterilization certificate, he was "free to go" so long as he agreed to have no sexual relations whatsoever with Germans.

Although most Black Germans attempted to escape their fatherland, heading for France where people like Josephine Baker were steadily aiding and supporting the French Underground, many still encountered problems elsewhere. Nations shut their doors to Germans, including the Black ones.

Some Black Germans were able to eke out a living during Hitler's reign of terror by performing in Vaudeville shows; but many Blacks, steadfast in their belief that they were German first, Black second, opted to remain in Germany. Some fought with the Nazis (a few even became Lut Waffe pilots!) Unfortunately, many Black Germans were arrested, charged with treason, and shipped in cattle cars to concentration camps. Often these trains were so packed with people and (equipped with no bathroom facilities or food), that, after the four-day journey, box car doors were opened to piles of the dead and dying.

Once inside the concentration camps, Blacks were given the worst jobs conceivable. Some Black American soldiers, who were captured and held as
prisoners of war, recounted that, while they were being starved and forced into dangerous labor (violating the Geneva Convention), they were still better off than Black German concentration camp detainees, who were forced to do the unthinkable--man the crematoriums and work in labs where genetic experiments were being conducted. As a final sacrifice, these Blacks were killed every three months so that they would never be able to reveal the inner workings of the "Final Solution".

In every story of Black oppression, no matter how we were enslaved, shackled, or beaten, we always found a way to survive and to rescue others. As a case in
point; consider Johnny Voste, a Belgian resistance fighter who was arrested in
1942 for alleged sabotage and then shipped to Dachau. One of his jobs was stacking vitamin crates. Risking his own life, he distributed hundreds of vitamins to camp detainees, which saved the lives of many who were starving, weak, and ill--conditions exacerbated by extreme vitamin deficiencies. His motto was "No, you can't have my life; I will fight for it".

According to Essex University's Delroy Constantine-Simms, there were Black Germans who resisted Nazi Germany, such as Lari Gilges, who founded the Northwest Rann --an organization of entertainers that fought the Nazis in his home town of Dusseldorf--and who was murdered by the SS in 1933, the year that Hitler came into power.

Little information remains about the numbers of Black Germans held in the camps or killed under the Nazi regime. Some victims of the Nazi sterilization project and Black survivors of the Holocaust are still alive and telling their story in films such as "Black Survivors of the Nazi Holocaust", but they must also speak out for justice, not just history.

Unlike Jews (in Israel and in Germany ), Black Germans receive no war reparations because their German citizenship was revoked (even though they were German-born). The only pension they get is from those of us who are willing to tell the world their stories and continue their battle for recognition and compensation.

After the war, scores of Blacks who had somehow managed to survive the Nazi regime, were rounded up and tried as war criminals. Talk about the final insult!

There are thousands of Black Holocaust stories, from the triangle trade, to
slavery in America, and to the gas ovens in Germany. We often shy away from hearing about our historical past because so much of it is painful; however, we are in this struggle together for rights, dignity, and, yes, reparations for wrongs done to us through the centuries. We need to always remember so that we can take steps to ensure that these atrocities never happen again.

For further information, read: Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany, by Hans J. Massaquoi.

Sent from my BlackBerry device from Digicel

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Forbes: The Richest People in the World 2011

Click on title for full story

Mar 9th 2011 at 5:15PM

by Luisa Kroll and Kerry A. Dolan,

The 10 Richest People in the World

No. 1: Carlos Slim HelĂș & family
$74 billion | Telecom | Mexico

No. 2: Bill Gates
$56 billion | Microsoft | U.S.

No. 3: Warren Buffett
$50 billion | Berkshire Hathaway| U.S.

No. 4: Bernard Arnault
$41 billion | LVMH | France

No. 5: Larry Ellison
$39.5 billion | Oracle | U.S.

No. 6: Lakshmi Mittal
$31.1 billion | Steel | India

No. 7: Amancio Ortega
$31 billion | Zara | Spain

No. 8: Eike Batista
$30 billion | Mining, Oil | Brazil

No. 9: Mukesh Ambani
$27 billion | Petrochemicals | India

No. 10: Christy Walton & family
$26.5 billion | Wal-Mart | U.S.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Let's get creative - and be all right

Nesta Carter, Michael Frater and Asafa Powell show Gold Medal support for the Eat Jamaican Campaign as they commend Coronation Market vendor Angela Jarrett on her great Jamaican produce.
Jean Lowrie-Chin | Jamaica Observer column | Monday, March 07, 2011

At Coronation Market in downtown Kingston, our team could not stop exclaiming over the freshness of the produce, the warmth of the vendors, and the attractiveness of the layout.

Manager of the market Sandra Bullock is an organised lady who turned up at every planning meeting on time to help us implement a rousing launch at 'Curry' for a campaign urging Jamaicans to 'Grow what we eat and eat what we grow.'

After I posted the event on Facebook, my friend Tracy Fischer from Buffalo wrote, "Why would Jamaica import food? You have everything!" She had visited Jamaica for the first time four years ago and enjoyed the delightful difference in the flavours of our fruit and vegetables. I remember another overseas visitor sampling a chilled, creamy custard apple and exclaiming, "This tastes like vanilla ice cream -- only better!"

What better testimony to the benefits of our foods than our home-grown Olympic gold medallists who were on hand at Coronation to support the campaign? Melaine Walker, Nesta Carter, Michael Frater and Asafa Powell, as well as World Champion Brigitte Foster-Hylton made us proud as we saw the courtesy they extended to vendors and diplomats alike.

European Union Ambassador to Jamaica Marco Mazzocchi-Alemanni commended Digicel for rebuilding the market, dubbing the company the second biggest donor to Jamaica after the EU. He said that he and his wife were delighted to discover our foods, and asked why our tasty callaloo and naseberries could not be found in European supermarkets.

Eating Jamaican means eating healthy. The ambassador does well to choose callaloo, which is rich in iron, vitamin C, flavonoids, calcium and vitamin A. It has more than four times the calcium and more than twice the iron compared to broccoli and other vegetables.

Our flavours are a boon for agro-processors. Last Thursday, Mohan Jagnarine and Dennis Hawkins of Spur Tree Spices launched a spicy oxtail seasoning, masterfully blending Scotch bonnet, escallion, pimento and various herbs. We joined JMA executive members at their Duke Street headquarters for a memorable lunch made with this new product.

At the event, I gleaned some useful information from that treasure of a Jamaican, Paulette Rhoden. She said that we don't have to go as far as Europe or the US to export our wonderful foods, pointing out that there is a market of 35 million from Bermuda in the north to Suriname in the south, hankering for our excellent foods. "Antigua grows very little because their soil is mostly shale," she commented. "Barbados' soil is full of sand or clay. They don't grow much in the Turks & Caicos or in Cayman."

We have farmers with a glut of crops who are intimidated because they may not have the trailer loads or because of the stringent regulations of the larger markets. Paulette advised that our Caribbean neighbours are not as strict and a farmer can simply call such companies as Fedex, DHL or Laparkan to get assistance in shipping boxes, not necessarily large containers.

We have the benefits of strong leadership from Agriculture Minister Dr Christopher Tufton, generous support from the EU Food Facility and professional administration from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), a respected UN body. If we can just tear ourselves away from our sofas long enough, we could even grow foods in flowerpots and old tyres to reduce our spend at the supermarket.

Jamaican people, the name of your country gives you one of the coolest brands in the world. Let us get creative to ensure that our food supply is safe and earning us valuable foreign exchange.

The truth about our 'Yute'

National Baking Company's Gary 'Butch' Hendrickson passed on a powerful speech given last Thursday at a Kingston Rotary Club Luncheon by Monsignor Gregory Ramkissoon.

The founder of Mustard Seed Communities has challenged our spirit-numbing status quo. He wants our bright MBAs to be less involved in pushing paper and more involved in productive activities that will create jobs. He would like them to tithe not just money but time in community outreach.

"At the moment, there are some 510,300 youths between the ages 14 and 24 years (circa 20 per cent of the population)," he said "Of these 26 per cent between the ages of 20 and 24 years are unemployed. And 38 per cent of all young adults living in the inner city are unemployed. The national unemployment rate stands at roughly 12 per cent. All told, 70 per cent of young adults are unemployable. Please note that 75 per cent of all crimes in Jamaica are committed by persons under the age of 30 years (taken from [PSOJ] YUTE survey - 2010)."

"It is no surprise then," he observed, "that a deadly combination of lewdness, bad manners, illiteracy, drugs and all the negative aspects of the so-called dancehall culture are threatening to overcome us."

Ramkissoon wants Government to look before they spend on inner-city projects as "unless there is proper prep work I am afraid that will be a bottomless pit for dumping the proverbial 'pork'. At least 20 per cent of all inner-city investments by the Government should be put into the social infrastructure - eg sanitation, play areas, caring for the aged and the disabled."

Here is a suggestion that should be taken onboard by the Social Development Commission: "No economic project should be put into place until all the players are given a three-month course in different aspects of 'life-skills development' — concerning the family, community, self-worth, discipline, ethics and volunteerism."

As Butch Hendrickson pointed out, Monsignor Ramkissoon is an authority on social development, having lived and worked in inner-city communities for over 25 years, serving the poorest of the poor. Father HoLung has also made a similar call for greater responsibility and compassion. The full script of the speech, which also challenges our clergy, is on my blog. Those who have ears, let them hear.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Nita's Otaheite Apple Tart

Eat Jamaican in style - Anita just made this from our neighbour's delicious otaheite apples - mmmm good!
Sent from my BlackBerry® device from Digicel

Stop griping and do something for the poor

Msgr GREGORY RAMKISSOON |Sunday, March 06, 2011 | Jamaica Observer

An address by the Very Rev Monsignor Gregory Ramkissoon on March 3, 2011 to the Rotary Club of Kingston.

FROM the start, let me say that I do not wish to stay too long on the negatives -- for we all know what they are -- (crime and violence, topmost on our minds), but to point us in a direction which may help us reflect on our own level of awareness about what surrounds us and what we, in our own little way can do to make a positive impact.

"The fish only knows that it lives in the water, after it is already on the riverbank. Without our awareness of another world out there, it would never occur to us to change."

At the moment, there are some 510,300 youths between the ages 14 and 24 years (circa 20 per cent of the population). Of these 26 per cent between the ages of 20-24 years are unemployed. And, 38 per cent of all young adults living in the inner-city are unemployed. The national unemployment rate stands at roughly 12 per cent. All told, 70 per cent of young adults are unemployable. Please note that 75 per cent of all crimes in Jamaica are committed by persons under the age of 30 yrs. (taken from YUTE survey - 2010). It is no surprise then, that a deadly combination of lewdness, bad manners, illiteracy, drugs and all the negative aspects of the so-called dancehall culture are threatening to overcome us.

Looking at some other stats; last year, and this has been a trend for some time now, almost 20 per cent of all babies born in Jamaica were born to teenage girls. Just last week a 10-year old girl was sent to one of our homes because she is in her eighth month of pregnancy. Of course, there are many more cases of neglect and abuse around us -- what to do!!! We cannot give up hope. We are too rich to be rendered impotent in the face of all the negative things around us.

"Intuitively, anecdotally, and empirically, we all know that a well-educated population and a stable, investment-friendly environment produce greater national wealth than is possible in undereducated and unstable societies. Thus, national policy discussions as well as appropriation debates focus on allocation of resources to achieve the desired well-educated populace and stable environment. But what tools are available to policy makers to buttress analysis of allocation of resources?

In this extremely intriguing study (produced in 2005 based on millennium year data), the researchers quantified the three major contributors to the total wealth of nations: natural, produced, and intangible capital.

Natural capital includes the sum of non-renewable resources (oil, gas, minerals, etc) and fertile land, forests, protected areas and aquifers. Produced capital includes factories, machines, equipment, products, industrial and urban infrastructure. Intangible capital includes all a nation's assets that are neither natural nor produced.

We learn after subtracting the total of all of the world's natural resources and all produced capital, that intangible capital is 80 per cent of the total wealth of rich countries and 60 per cent of the wealth of poor countries. The bottom line is not a surprise: the bank finds that "rich countries are largely rich because of the skills of their populations and the quality of the institutions supporting economic activity", ie, because of intangible capital.

So the intangible capital residual component of national wealth is worth understanding. The economists sub-divide intangible capital into two major categories: 'education' (consisting of human capital, including raw labour plus the sum of knowledge, skills and know how of the population); and 'social capital' (represented by beliefs, levels of trust, attitudes, behaviours and the quality of formal and informal institutional infrastructure -- including stability, transparency and other elements).

Social capital is measured by the "rule of law index -- a tool utilised to measure the quality of governance and institutions. Education (human capital) is measured through schooling years per capita.

Parsing the education component further, the study points to prior research, suggesting that investment in primary education in low-income countries produces the biggest bang for the buck. That is, in a low-income country $1 spent on primary school provides a higher return than $1 spent on higher education.

Rather dramatically, a one-year increase in the mean level of schooling in a low-income country increases that country's intangible capital by $838 per person. Returns on investment, the data show, decline with the level of schooling and per capita income.

In the end, the research fundamentally and quite convincingly demonstrates that it is years and quality of schooling, along with the quality of the nation's formal and informal institutions that are the determining factors in creating the wealth of nations. Policymakers can be reasonably confident that investments in education and efficient and responsible institutions are viable means of increasing the intangible capital residual of a nation's total wealth."

("Where is the Wealth of Nations? Measuring Capital for the 21st Century" may be viewed in its entirety at The above taken from a speech by Ambassador Sue Cobb.

The Private Sector

We have fallen into a despairing position and are giving up too easily, while others are coming in and taking our rejects and making things happen. Let us stop griping and see things as they are and cut our appetites to suit our pockets. Business has a social responsibility and we have to see that we must participate in the fullest possible way in the evolution of the society. There has to be hope, otherwise we might as well pack up and commit hari-kari.

All businesses should tithe, not just in money, but in time. Put aside at least 2.4 hours a day to give back to the poorest of the poor. Encourage your employees to do the same. You are needed more than the money you can give. We need role models and an interaction that will bring about understanding and growth among the well-to-do and the poor.

If we are asking the government to do more, we have to take on more responsibility for our own sake and for the sake of our children and our children's children. We cannot sit by and allow the politicians and others to do what they wish, while all we do is complain and gossip. Many of us contribute to the political parties and many of us should call them to 'book' to account for their stewardship. We have to have successful and responsible (pay taxes!) enterprises.

For businesses to be philanthropic, they have to make profits; to make profits they have to invest and run 'tight ships'. We all know that government has a part to play, but in many cases outsiders are investing here and we are sitting back.

Last year (Jan-Oct) we imported 15 per cent less capital goods into the country. What is that saying for our business community? Oil and food imports accounted for nearly 50 per cent of all imports. Should we roll up our sleeves and invest much more in the agri-business sector? Just a note -- the value of imported cars jumped by 11 per cent!

We also notice a lot of young, bright MBAs moving into the private sector -- rightfully so! But are they being more productive and are they really creating jobs? One gets the impression that they are finding many new ways of 'pushing paper', mainly in the financial sector.

We need to see more of their time and talent invested in our inner-city communities. Maybe it will be a good idea if some of the companies making billions in after-tax profits set aside at least five per cent (for starters) in real job-creation investment. That will put our money where our mouth is.

There has to be an engagement of our business and professional lives, not just in raising funds, but in interaction with others in the society who need to see disciplined and responsible people at work, at play, at worship, in good times and in bad.

Let me say that for us to have any hope in the future of the society here in Jamaica, we must be able to care for the marginalised and the abandoned among us. A society that does not care for the vulnerable does not care for itself in the end.

To start to become organised we must be concerned in a prioritised way about these members of our society. If peace is the daughter of justice, then the mother of justice is caring. We cannot have justice and peace without compassion.

The Government

I understand that the government is going to spend billions of dollars in the inner-city and that many in society are sure that if investment comes to the inner-city, all will be well... Look out... unless there is proper prep work I am afraid that will be a bottomless pit for dumping the proverbial 'pork'. At least 20 per cent of all inner-city investment by the government should be put into the social infrastructure, eg sanitation, play areas, caring for the aged and the disabled.

No economic project should be put into place until all the players are given a three-month course in different aspects of "life-skills development" concerning the family, community, self-worth, discipline, ethics and volunteerism. In these 'classes', which should be done in the nearby schools in the downtime, members of the local police unit should be present as either teacher or student or sometimes both.

The government should help all NGOs looking after the disabled and the very poor with at least 75 per cent of their budget. At present we are given approximately only about a quarter of the cost of maintaining the child at a reasonable level of existence. Also, there should be a special rate on utilities on all institutions looking after the needs of the very poor children and adults. In addition, statutory payments to employees should be borne by the government, for these institutions.

The Police

The police must also be part of the 'life-skills' programme with the community (as mentioned above). They should be evaluated frequently and made to understand that they have a responsibility to the community and not only to themselves. They should be promoted on how well they perform at the community level. The Police Youth Clubs are not enough to encourage a new breath of confidence in the police.

Sad to say, the social capital of the inner-city communities is steadily being eroded by the inaction of the police regarding the Noise Abatement Act. Night after night (and I have been living in the inner-city for the past 25 years) the sound systems go on until 5:00 am.

Whatever is banned on the air by the Broadcasting Commission has free run at these 'sessions'. In the wee hours of the morning parents and children have to listen (in a rough radius of half-a-mile) to all the details of the sexual act. Is that the road we wish to travel?

How can these adults go to work the next day or how can the children be truly productive and ready for school? No wonder then, that a recent survey tells us that almost 40 per cent of our population is experiencing some form of mental illness.

The Media

There should be some 'contract' with the society by the heads of the media houses that they will not give time, either in print or air -- any time that degrades women, incites violence (like some 'burn them' lyrics) or illegality in any way, form or fashion. The media have a responsibility not only to reflect what comes to it from society, but also in these times, especially to enlighten, educate and help in the shaping of the positive values of the society.

If this is not done, then we should not support the respective media house with ads or sponsorship. We cannot allow our entertainers who have no regard for decency and good taste to lull us into submission.

The Church

We have to be much more proactive as a body of people who aspire to the spiritual life. The Jamaica Council of Churches is like a guard at the gate who has fallen asleep -- a tiger without teeth. The same for the many evangelicals, etc who are all bark and no bite. The church collects money, resources, etc from here and abroad and should be made to account for the disposal of these resources.

We are long on verbiage and all sorts of pomposity and very short on being a voice to the voiceless and a defender of the poor and the marginalised against corruption and injustice. We are not effective as agents of change, even in our own schools and communities. We spend a lot of time in rituals and rites and hardly any time in counselling (both rich and poor) and educating: yet keep griping about the hard times and get lost in the insularity of our own shortsightedness. We need to wake up if we see ourselves as the 'guardians' of the people of Jamaica.

In short, we have let down the flock, they are like a people 'without a shepherd'. There is so much more we can do if only we would take seriously the mandate of the people to walk with them in the spirit of Anthony de Mello's cautionary words:

"These things will destroy the human race: politics without principle, progress without compassion, wealth without work, learning without silence, religion without fearlessness and worship without awareness. (Anthony de Mello)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Asafa, Brigitte, Melaine, Nesta, Michael love JA Food!

Melaine Walker, Michael Frater, Nesta Carter, Brigitte Foster-Hylton and Asafa Powell admire the fresh produce at the well-stocked stall of Angela Jarrett. They were on hand at Coronation Market for the launch of the Eat Jamaican campaign last Tuesday.

Why do our home-grown athletes look so great? Here are some nutrition facts:
 The dietary fibre in watermelon improves digestive health.
 Minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, etc. from watermelon strengthen the cells in the body. Potassium helps lower high blood pressure and prevents kidney stones and strokes while calcium helps build strong bones.

 Bananas contain vitamin C, potassium and dietary fibre. Bananas assist with the normal functioning of the nervous system.
 Bananas are rich in vitamin C and are a good source of energy.
 Bananas do not contain sodium, fat or cholesterol.

 Coconut, in most of its forms, was used by the indigenous people to help build strength, especially in malnourished individuals.
 Coconut being rich in dietary fibre, milk and tender pieces can relieve constipation and other bowel-related conditions.
 A direct application of coconut milk on skin infections, actually helps to heal it. Coconut oil is used regularly to cure and heal eczema and psoriasis scars.

 The grapefruit has no saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. It is rich in vitamin A, various B vitamins and vitamin C.
 Pregnant mothers should consume grapefruit as folate from grapefruit helps in the production and maintenance of new cells.
 Grapefruit also provides minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, copper, magnesium and zinc. It is thus packed with antioxidants, which help prevent various diseases including cancer.
 Grapefruit calories are so low that it is referred to as negative calorie food.

 Guavas are one of the best fruits available, high in fibre. They are sodium free, plus low in fat and calories.
 The edible rind of a guava contains 5 times more vitamin C than an orange.
 Guava contains key nutrients like: vitamin C, carotenoids, folate, potassium, fibre, calcium and iron. Calcium is typically not found in high amounts in many fruits.

 Jackfruits are rich in carbohydrates, and a good source of energy.
 Jackfruits also contain a good amount of the antioxidant, flavonoids and provide protection from cancer and heart problems.
 Jackfruits also contain potassium, which helps control heart rate and blood pressure.

June Plum
 June plum is a good source of iron.
 Unripe June plum (Jamaican Jewish plum) contains a high amount of protein.

Friday, March 4, 2011

US law firm says Jamaica is perfect for investment

From Radio Jamaica (RJR)
US law firm says Jamaica is perfect for investment

Efforts by the Government of Jamaica to create an enabling legislative and fiscal framework to attract investors have received strong support from one of the largest United States-based law firms, Baker and McKenzie.

Simon P. Beck, Principal Partner who is responsible for global wealth management at Baker and McKenzie, commended the Government for its bold moves to position Jamaica at the forefront of investment destinations.

Mr. Beck said Jamaica 's legislative and fiscal initiatives will make many of their clients say, "that's the location, that's where we should establish ourselves, because it's absolutely perfect" for investment.

He was speaking at a reception hosted by the firm at its Washington D.C. headquarters on Tuesday, which is to honour Jamaica 's Ambassador to the United States , Audrey P. Marks.

Tax & investment treaties almost second to none

He touted Jamaica 's tax and investment treaties as "almost second to none in the Caribbean," stressing that "most importantly, the Government is very much behind positioning Jamaica " as an investment centre.

Among Jamaica 's advantages, which he identified, is the country's "wonderful location, the most wonderful geography, wonderful infrastructure, and one of the highest educated populations in all of the Caribbean ."
He also noted that the Government's support and commitment to encouraging multinationals, executives, academics, and high net-worth families to establish a base in the country.

Services sector a critical platform for JA's reconstruction efforts

Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, who was the keynote speaker, told the more than 175 movers and shakers who attended the reception, in the American capital, that legislation to reposition the financial service sector will be in place within the next 12 months.

"We are positioning ourselves in terms of redefining our own processes. We're looking at how we can achieve growth, and how we can restructure ourselves," said Mr. Bartlett.

He added that focus will be given to the services sector "as a critical platform for our own reconstruction efforts," with tourism at the centre of that endeavour.


Mr. Bartlett invited the business leaders to invest in Jamaica , stressing, "we've been looking at how can we bring people, how can we bring capital into Jamaica , and at how can we bring more entrepreneurs into Jamaica to energize our own efforts, and to bring wider knowledge and greater expertise to intermingle with ours."

Stating that he was excited at the prospect of attracting more tourists from the Washington area, Mr. Bartlett further disclosed that Air Jamaica would soon be resuming daily flights from Baltimore .

Praises for Ambassador Marks  

He also paid tribute to Ambassador Marks for her tremendous effort in representing Jamaican interests in the United States .

He described her as "a brilliant mind and a really outstanding entrepreneur from Jamaica , who understands business and diplomacy."

In her response, Ambassador Marks said she was honoured and privileged to be representing her nation at this critical juncture in its development.

She underscored her main areas of focus as strengthening Jamaica-US relations; increasing trade and investment; and engaging the Diaspora to look at the investment opportunities available in their homeland.
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Tuesday, March 1, 2011


World and Olympics Champions Melaine Walker, Asafa Powell, Michael Frater, Nesta Carter, and Brigitte Foster admire the great Jamaican produce being sold by Maxine Jarrett at the Coronation Market today where they supported the 'Eat Jamaican' Launch. Looking on are Akhter Hamid, FAO Project Manager for the EU Food Facility, sponsors of the Project and Dr Jerome Thomas, FAO Representative for Jamaica, Belize and The Bahamas.


KINGSTON, Jamaica: The Government is placing agriculture on the public agenda with the launch of a national "Eat Jamaican" campaign aimed at increasing local production and encouraging consumers to make healthy choices by eating local produce, fruits and vegetables.

Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton, who launched the campaign at the Coronation Market, downtown Kingston this morning has long been an advocate of the consumption of local foods. The Agriculture Minister unveiled details of the programme funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

Minister Tufton said the three-month campaign valued at J$17.2M will entail a series of road shows across Jamaica. The road shows will feature singing competitions, food exhibition/tasting, and hotel cook-offs, he said. As part of consumer education, the campaign will seek to get consumers united behind the theme "grow what we eat, eat what we grow," in support of farmers, retailers, agro-processors and distributors, Minister Tufton added.

The Minister has also welcomed the endorsement of the “Eat Jamaican” message by six Jamaican World and Olympic Champions: Shelly Ann Fraser, Brigitte Foster Hylton, Melaine Walker, Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, and former World Record Holder Asafa Powell.

Dr. Tufton commented: “As we take this concrete step to achieve food security in our country, we are extremely grateful that the European Union and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations have partnered with us in funding this campaign to the tune of $17.2 million...”

“I am convinced that we have the potential to feed ourselves and dramatically reduce our food import bill. The Statistical Institute of Jamaica, STATIN, reports that up to the end of October 2010, Jamaica’s imports totaled US$661 million compared to US$667 million for the corresponding period in 2009. This is a decline of 1 percent and follows a decline of 7.4 percent achieved in 2009 over 2008...”

“Jamaica must increase domestic food production and substitute local foodstuffs for these increasingly costly imported items…”

“The performance of the agricultural sector from which the majority of rural folk earn their livelihood is directly linked to the quality of life and the state of the country’s development. Our farmers are indeed the cornerstones of rural life and the guardians of our traditions in villages spread across the country. We must ensure that they can continue to contribute to the vitality of the rural areas...”

Ambassador Marco Mazzocchi-Alemanni of the European Union to Jamaica, who are sponsors of the programme through the EU Food Facility commented on the excellent quality of Jamaican crops. “I am from Italy,” he said, “and we are very conscious about the flavour of foods. I was delighted to discover that Jamaica has such wonderful food…we have a Jamaican chef at home and my wife and I enjoy Jamaican dishes”. He commended Jamaica’s farmers for their diligence and the vendors at Coronation Market for bringing Jamaica’s crops to the public.

Other speakers were Dr. Jerome Thomas, Representative for Jamaica, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO); Mr. Roger Clarke, Opposition Spokesman on Agriculture and Mr Glendon Harris, President, Jamaica Agricultural Society. The prayer was said by Rev. Dr. Roy Henry, Pastor, East Queen Street Circuit of Baptist Churches.

The gathering was treated to an amusing performance by the Eat Jamaican mascot ‘Doctor Bird’, and beloved comedic duo, Ity & Fancy Cat, who will be appearing on the Eat Jamaican Road Shows.

Backyard gardening is another strong component of the campaign with the Rural Agricultural Development Agency (RADA) making available vital information to householders and institutions which may want to start an agricultural project and embrace the message of making healthy food choices.

The campaign will also be backed by ongoing updates on a number of social media networks so that consumers, especially the young people, can keep abreast of the pace of the campaign and make their own contributions.

Collaboration is a huge part of this Eat Jamaican campaign and stakeholders such as the Jamaica Agricultural Society, RADA and the tourism industry have endorsed the programme which will ultimately bring local foods from the fields to the table.