Minister of Agriculture, Sen. Haynesley Benn, being assisted with the planting??of a mahogany tree by student of Charles F. Broome??Primary School, Nia Marshall, Sales and Marketing Manager at WIBISCO, Diane Payne??and centenarian, Melvin Williams. (A. Miller/BGIS)????

A proposal has gone out to local biscuit company WIBISCO to start utilising local cassava flour in their products instead of regular flour.??

This call has come from Agriculture Minister, Senator Haynesley Benn, who said food security must become a national initiative.?? "The positive impact of food on both the rural and urban sectors in terms of economic value, as well as its impact on the diet and health of our citizens, must be underscored.?? In view of the current economic recession, I do believe that our local agricultural sector should endeavor to grow more food and each household should also cultivate their own backyard plots."

He was speaking this morning at the launch of a tree planting project by the West India Biscuit Company Ltd (WIBISCO) at Charles F. Broome Primary School.

??The project, which is part of a Community Empowerment Initiative to coincide with the company’s 100 years in operation, aims to plant trees within schools, beaches and in communities across the island.

Sales and Marketing Manager at WIBISCO, Diane Payne told the gathering that the tree planting drive would be two-fold, since they would not only be planting trees for shade but they would also be planting fruit trees to encourage greater food security.??????

The Sales and Marketing Manager disclosed that between June and September, this year they would plant 20 trees to coincide with Environment and Arbor Days, respectively.

"It is our goal to enhance the various communities and to encourage young people to respect their environment.?? We thought that for our first school (Charles F. Broome) we would plant a mahogany tree," Ms. Payne explained.??

Meanwhile, Senator Benn underscored the importance of planting fruit trees, in particular, as a means of contributing to the enhancement of local food production and the agricultural sector in general.

"The propagation of locally grown fruit trees would have several benefits for our society.?? When you grow your own fruit, you know exactly what you are getting – no sprays, no wax and no chemicals…," he charged.

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