JA agriculture minister takes food security campaign to the NY Diaspora

Jamaica Minister of Agriculture, Pearnel Charles, Jr.
Jamaica Minister of Agriculture, Pearnel Charles, Jr.
Jamaica Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries

Jamaican Minister of Agriculture & Fisheries, Pearnel Charles, Jr., is taking his “Grow Smart, Eat Smart” campaign to the Jamaican Diaspora community in New York City during a three-day tour from Nov. 11-13, 2022.
Under the theme “Food Security-The Jamaican Perspective,” the tour is hosted by The Agriculturalist Newspaper, in association with JAMPRO, Consulate General of Jamaica-NY, Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries and Farm Up Jamaica.
According to the chairman of the organizing committee and publisher of The Agriculturalist, Patrick Maitland, Charles will be the special guest on tour, which aims to promote investment opportunities in Jamaican agriculture, and provides an opportunity for the policymaker to meet with food importers, processors and consumers.

Maitland said Charles will address several priority areas in Jamaican agriculture, such as crop, livestock production, climate-smart practices and technologies.
“Knowledge transfer, investments and building capacity across industries, including farming, and the layers of the value chain of businesses and organizations, are among the issues to be tackled by the minister,” he said.
Maitland said Charles will attend several events, including a breakfast meeting with importers of fresh Jamaican produce and a townhall meeting to update the public on the Agriculture Ministry’s strategy to achieve food security.

He said the agriculture minister is expected to speak on the “Grow Smart, Eat Smart” campaign, launched earlier this year and aimed at “driving resilience, advancing sustainability and improving efficiency in Jamaican agriculture.”
The tour starts on Nov. 11 with a power breakfast meeting with top importers of Jamaican produce at The Simpson Restaurant in Brooklyn, and follows by a tour of Golden Krust’s manufacturer facilities in the Bronx and a town hall meeting on foods and investment opportunities in Jamaica at the Jamaican Consulate in Manhattan.

On Nov. 12, Maitland said Charles will tour the Caribbean Depot/Gitto Farmers Market in Brooklyn and Sam’s Caribbean Marketplace in Hempstead Turnpike, West Hempstead, LI.
Maitland said Charles ends his tour on Nov. 13 as guest speaker at Panash 8th Annual Fundraising Gala at Jamaica Runway Café in Queens.
Under the theme “We Are Stronger Together,” he said the fundraising gala aims to support youth empowerment initiatives to stop gun violence, and features various performances, awards and fashionable auctions.

Charles was appointed minister of Agriculture and Fisheries on Jan. 11, 2022.
Prior to that, he was minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change.
He is also a two-time Member of Parliament, currently serving in South East Clarendon.

Additionally, Charles is an attorney-at-law, qualified to practice law in Jamaica and the United States.
Throughout his professional career, he served as a Judicial Clerk, Senior Clerk of Court, Crown Counsel at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in Jamaica, and as the Lead Counsel and Managing Attorney of The Law Offices of Pearnel P. Charles, Jr.

Charles is a former president of the Law Society and a former Guild President of the University of West Indies, where he earned two honors degrees: a Bachelor of Science (dual major in biochemistry and zoology) and a Bachelor of Laws.
In addition, he holds a Master of Laws degree from The George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C., where he was awarded the Thomas Buergenthal Scholarship for academic performance.

“Pearnel Charles, Jr. was born with a passion for community service and, as a youth advocate, he participates in community activities geared towards uplifting underserved communities and protecting the most vulnerable,” his biography states.
Charles continues to serve as chairman of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Youth Advisory Council.

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