The national tree of Suriname, a Roystonea Regia, commonly known as a palm tree, was planted today to symbolize the agricultural alliance between Suriname and Barbados.
During the tree planting ceremony held at the National Botanical Gardens, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Indar Weir, stated: “It is a significant moment for me as minister as I join with my colleague minister from the Republic of Suriname to put down this tree as a mark of the collaboration between Barbados and Suriname on this Brokopondo initiative.
“And that this stands as that one milestone to signal that we are ready and that this programme is real and that it will start from here this morning and continue to ramp up until we reach our optimum in terms of all of the deliverables in this arrangement between Barbados and Suriname.”
Echoing his sentiments was Suriname’s Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, Rabindre Parmessar, who stated that the planting of the tree would be a landmark of the relations between the two countries, which, like the palm, should last a long time.
Minister Parmessar added that the “fruitful” efforts by both country’s leaders, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley and President Desiré Bouterse, were bearing tangible results.
He pointed out that this collaboration between Barbados and Suriname was setting the example for how Caribbean countries could collaborate, and stressed: “We all need to join hands in bringing agriculture back to the people and together we can make it work, because if you want to go far, go together.”
Highlighting that Barbados was once central in the agricultural development within the Caribbean, Minister Parmessar stated that others had gained from Barbados’ efforts and “it is time that … you gain more of your possibility”.
Barbados and Suriname established diplomatic relations in March 1978, and strengthened bilateral relations in November 2018, when they signed the Brokopondo Programme for Cooperation.
The Brokopondo Programme has three components, namely trading in agricultural produce; utilization of lands in Suriname for farming by Barbadians and providing scientific assistance/collaboration.