Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Indar Weir, sees the ‘We Plantin’ More Than A Million National Tree Planting Project’ as not just a mitigation measure against climate change, but also a project that equally addresses food security in Barbados.
Speaking at a tree planting ceremony today in the fruit orchard section of the National Botanical Gardens, Minister Weir stated: “My mandate through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security is to provide food security for Barbadians.
“And therefore it is significant that we recognize that what we do under the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in this tree planting programme is to make sure that we are able to deliver to Barbadians, and especially our school children, a wide variety of Barbadian fruits.”
The Agriculture Minister stated that he had signalled to officials within his ministry that he wished to see all of the national fruits that he is accustomed to, such as dunks, ackees, guavas, plums and golden apples, being planted under the initiative, and also some of those fruits from other Caribbean countries, including Suriname’s Dragon Fruit and Rambutan.
Minister Weir emphasized that his ministry was working assiduously to get the soursop project going which seeks to promote planting and growing of soursop trees, and exploiting the medicinal properties from the fruit.
Highlighting that all fruit trees, under the National Tree Planting Programme, were being provided by his ministry through the Soil Conservation Unit in Haggatts, St Andrew, Minister Weir, along with Chairman of the Project, Dr. Chelston Brathwaite, is encouraging Barbadians to join in the initiative and plant a fruit tree and help to address climate change and food security at the same time.
Dr. Brathwaite suggested that individuals could plant trees for personal celebrations such as birthdays, anniversaries or even the birth of a child.
Suriname’s Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, Rabindre Parmessar, requested that upon his next visit to Barbados that he be allowed to plant one typical Surinamese tree within the National Botanical Gardens.
Following the tree planting ceremony, Minister Parmessar, a delegation from Suriname, and officials from the Ministry of Agriculture toured areas within the Scotland District of Barbados.
These included Bathsheba in St. Joseph, Springvale’s sub-surface drainage project; Baxters project, which seeks to realign the water course and stabilize the banks on the course; and two-female managed farms, under the Farmers’ Empowerment and Enfranchisement Drive programme at Turners Hall in St. Andrew.