Message from the Hon. Prime Minister, Labour Day Church Service

Release Date: 
Monday, May 19, 2008 - 14:45

Labour Day has always been a day of great significance for most Jamaicans. It is a day when a spirit of patriotism and "oneness" prevails. It is a day when our people gather in their various groups, whether it is their churches, communities or organizations to 'labour' in building their community and country.

The current crisis on the global scene has had a negative rippling effect on small countries such as ours, with our food security being seriously compromised. This brings to the fore, the critical need for a cooperative effort from each and every one of us, to assist in stemming this crisis. This year's National Labour Day theme "Grow What We Eat and Eat What We Grow" is a deliberate focus, aimed at mitigating the food crisis that faces us. Over the years, persistent calls have come from various sectors in the society for a stem in the inundation of imported food items, with regrettably, very little corresponding action. This Government is committed to answering that 'call;' and is asking all Jamaicans to do the same. We must support our local farmers and strive for greater self-sufficiency, in order to survive in what is becoming an increasingly challenging global marketplace.

This Labour Day, I am urging my fellow Jamaicans, young and old, to partner with us in this venture. There has been a wide-scale distribution of seedlings throughout the island, including our schools; and we are encouraging everyone to plant something from which you can reap. We intend to foster a culture of 'backyard farming' and we must start with our youths. It is my hope that this will become a way of life for the future.

As you gather here today, I urge you to seek God's guidance and strength to sustain you, not just for this Labour Day, but for the days that lie ahead.

Let us join hands and hearts and 'labour' this Labour Day, as we seek to build a better and more secure future for our country.

Bruce Golding
Honourable Prime Minister