KINGSTON — Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Robert Montague, has announced that commencing in January 2012, the Ministry will be implementing a fruit tree re-planting project, to coincide with Jamaica’s 50th anniversary celebration.
"We are seeking to plant some 50,000 fruit trees across the island, which will not only achieve the goals of re-forestation, import substitution and export potential, but also employment possibilities,” he explained.
He said this project forms part of a number of initiatives that the government is putting in place to guarantee food security for the nation.
The Minister was delivering the keynote address at a World Food Day ceremony, held at the Maggotty High School, in St. Elizabeth, on October 14. The day was observed under the theme: ‘Food Prices- From Crisis to Stability’.
According to Minister Montague, early next year there will also be an initiative to expand the production of turmeric, ginger and hot pepper, while the Ministry will be moving to correct some of the post harvest problems that occur in these crops.
"Together these initiatives, in conjunction with increased production in domestic crops, will assist Jamaica to bolster its food security. We are not where we would like to be, but the process has begun,” he argued.
He emphasised that the government is committed to ensuring that the people have access to affordable and nutritious foods.
The Minister pointed out that to stabilise and prevent shocks in local food prices, the Ministry will continue to assist the farmers to produce more, and appealed to Jamaicans to eat locally grown foods.
Contact: Bryan Miller, JIS Reporter