The Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management is working to conserve the island’s local plant species.
Addressing the scores of persons who attended the Ministry’s field day on local medicinal plants on Wednesday, Chief Agricultural Officer, Lennox Chandler, said this move was important, as the country was in danger of losing them.
“Barbados is only 160,000 acres of land …and one of the things we have is a lot of pressure for commercial purposes and other reasons. What is going to happen is that our local plant species are going to disappear. Even now, we can’t find some of them which were popular years ago,” he stated, adding that climate change was another contributing factor.
Mr. Chandler further explained that the Ministry was conducting research and would be seeking to “grow them in a controlled environment, where people can still access them”.
The Chief Agricultural Officer also believed these efforts could help in the development of the agro-business industry, as the medicinal plants could be used to create commercial products.
The field day was held at the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute’s (CARDI) Facility, Central Agronomic Research Station, located on the Ministry’s Graeme Hall, Christ Church compound.
Attendees were treated to presentations on 10 local medicinal plants: Cerasee, Gullyroot, Christmas Bush, Cure for All, Mosquito Bush, Wonder of the World, Aloe, Vervain, Seed Under the Leaf and Periwinkle.
They were also briefed by Entomologist, Ian Gibbs, on the use of botanic pesticides, which can be made at home easily through using the leaves of the same plants.