With Plant Distribution Season open for the year 2020, the Ministry of Agriculture has renewed anticipation towards the enhancement of food security on the island, as thousands of plants being available to farmers for purchase, is an indication of the Ministry’s thrust towards a sustainable and viable agriculture industry.
The 2020 Plant Distribution Season was officially launched at the Mirabeau Agricultural Station on 14 July 2020, with over 40,000 plants ready for planting, ranging from cocoa to nutmeg, to soursop to ornamentals and fruits and spices.
“Today’s event, which is highly anticipated by the farming community and indeed by many householders across Grenada, takes on even greater significance, in the new reality, the new normal, which we operate.” Those were the words of Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Yolande Bain-Horsford, as she gratefully declared the season open, reflecting on the past months and the challenges that came with it as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
“The opening of plant distribution,” she continued, “signifies a new season of planting with faith in the exception of great harvest to come. As we enter this new season, the Ministry of Agriculture is planting new seeds that are developmental in nature, which will yield great harvest of growth for the agriculture Sector.”
Manager of the Mirabeau Agricultural Station, Allison Haynes, noted that a lot of work is put into the propagation of plants before it can be ready for distribution to the farming community.
She explained, “Seeds have to be collected and sowed to produce seedlings which are used for grafting. Cuttings have to be rooted before they can be sold. Inputs, such as hormones, grafting tools, fertilisers, must be procured and made available in a timely manner. Repair and maintenance work on our nurseries and irrigation systems are a yearly occurrence and must be done in a timely manner or the plants will die.”
She stated, therefore, that it is not cheap to produce a plant, as it costs over $10, and urged farmers to take proper care of them, since they are being sold at the subsidised cost of $5. “Over 40 years ago, the cost of producing a plant was calculated at about $10…can you imagine what the cost will be today, yet, most of our grafted plants are sold at a pittance of just $5 and other seedlings and cuttings are sold for us as low as $1. In light is this, I wish to send a serious message to farmers and the public, to care for the plants that you purchase,” she said.
The sale of plants began at the different propagation stations on 16 July to persons who have filled out application forms. The sale of plants to persons without application forms will be on 21 and 28 July, and throughout the entire month of August, or as plants continue to be available.
Ministry of Agriculture – ensuring food and nutrition security for all.