Thursday, 16 April 2015

MAKING A POINT: Diahann Gordon Harrison + Ian Boyne + Norman Grant, and more, on the moment's hot topics

"The Jamaica Agricultural Society, in supporting the farming community, continue to hold firm to supporting research and development in new methodologies and venture in agri-business as a means of increasing value-added products within the agricultural sector, facilitating agricultural forums to educate the public on the Jamaican agricultural sector's importance, needs and constraints. We will continue to empower and motivate our 228,000 farmers to not give up on their livelihood, notwithstanding economic constraints, but provide a gateway to financial access and training that will ensure efficiency and maximise output on their farms and some security at retirement."  Jamaica Agricultural Society president Norman Grant outlining the agency's renewed vision on the occasion of the JAS' 120th anniversary and the 32nd observance of National Farmers' Month 

"I tell people what I do is a labour of love  being able to make a difference. It seems so cliched but being able to impact people's lives, being able to help the nation reinvent itself, there are so many things that are part of the promise of being an American that can be shaped by policymakers who come together in a common cause on behalf of the people. I find that fascinating."  Renowned US congresswoman Yvette Clarke, recently in Jamaica for Barack Obama's visit, shedding light on her role as a woman of influence in America 

"His legendary skills in political organization have been an inseparable part of the foundation of the People's National Party for many years, since the tenure of the late Norman Manley, our fifth party president."  Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller paying tribute to her predecessor P.J. Patterson, who turns 80 years old this month 

"A broad development deal needs to be struck for Caribbean states like Jamaica. It's good to come here, woo our youth and enjoy that visit to the Bob Marley Museum. But we are not just to be romanticized and celebrated. As Professor Rex Nettleford would say, we are more than just minstrels."  Journalist Ian Boyne reflecting on the Obama visit and what it means for Jamaica, in a particularly grumpy column on Sunday 

"There is empirical data which shows that our children are, in fact, actively involved in lottery scamming, as it is seen as a viable alternative in terms of improving their livelihood. I will never say that music is the sole factor [driving] some of the social ills that exist, but it plays a vital role, and if we are serious about making change, we will have to consider the things that are being said through art."  Children's Advocate Diahann Gordon Harrison, addressing Wednesday's launch of Child Month, hosted by the National Child Month Committee at Grace Kennedy's head office

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