JIS News

Some 250 residents of Hope Pastures and Vineyard Town, in Kingston, were presented with fruit trees on November 29, as part of the country’s Food Security Programme.
Launched as the Residential Fruit Tree Project, it aims to distribute approximately two million fruit trees to households, schools and public entities, free of cost, over the next three years.
After symbolically planting a tree on the grounds of the Ministry of Agriculture, Old Hope Road, in Kingston, where the project was launched, Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Christopher Tufton and his team travelled through Hope Pastures and Vineyard Town, handing out trees, door-to-door.
“Food security means not just the availability of staples, but also protein, vitamins and minerals, for food and nutritional security, to help Jamaicans to live healthy lives and be a productive people and nation,” the Minister explained.
“The Food Security Programme therefore, entails expansion of protein, namely poultry, fish, beef and small ruminants, such as goat and sheep meat; local starches like yam, cassava and breadfruit, plus increased production of fruits and vegetables, via the greenhouse and fruit tree planting projects,” he added.
Dr. Tufton informed that the Residential Fruit Tree Project is estimated to cost $120 million, and would be funded jointly by the Government of Jamaica, Food for the Poor and private sector companies.
He pointed out that there is also a commercial component to the programme, under which free fruit trees and a $150,000 grant would be provided for the development of orchards of at least two acres in size. He stressed that orchards must be approved by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).
Fruit trees being provided include garden cherry, dwarf June plum, sour sop, dwarf cashew, mango, breadfruit, lychee, and pomegranate. The plants will be available islandwide and two trees will be given to each household.
As of December 1, 22,000 seedlings will be available at all RADA Parish Offices, with more becoming available as seedlings at nurseries mature.

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