The Ministry of Agriculture is on course for the 2020 plant distribution season, as work continues at its 4 propagation stations, even in the face of Covid-19.
Agriculture workers at the Mirabeau, Boulogne, Maran and Ashenden propagating stations are combining efforts to meet the June deadline for the annual plant distribution period.
From preparing soil, to cultivating and packaging planting materials, they are making sacrifices and putting in the hours to ensure that there is enough food available during this difficult time. It is in this regard that the ministry is assuring farmers and the public that plants will be available for them to continue with their cultivation.
“We cannot put the plants on hold, we have to continue to care for the plants, they are fragile plants, so we had to come out to work,” this was stated by Allison Haynes, Agronomist in the ministry.
Haynes said the coronavirus posed a challenged for the process but was quickly overcome as a result of the Ministry’s response. “After the lockdown,” she said, “the quick response of the Ministry of Agriculture in getting the exemption passes for the workers, and securing the protective masks, hand sanitisers and alcohol was very important in us overcoming that challenge.”
As a result of this, the ministry is now 95% on target for the June deadline.
Noting that this would not have been possible without shared efforts from the workers, Haynes recognised the hard work put in. “Workers were tremendous. They collaborated with management, they collaborated with the ministry…so we had very little mortality, in terms of the plants that were there before the lockdown, and we continue to propagate large quantities of planting material during the lockdown. Come June…we have hope, because the farmers will have the planting materials that they have applied for or that they desire to establish their plots,” she said.
At the beginning of the rainy season, farmers can find, among the plants available at the propagating stations, nutmeg, cocoa, soursop, bananas, and various types of fruit plants for their use.
Due to the hard work that was put in in getting the plants ready for distribution, the ministry is imploring on farmers to make the best use of the plants.
Ministry of Agriculture…ensuring food and nutrition security for all.