by Linda Straker
- 65,319 plants will be available from Government’s 4 propagating facilities
- Public can purchase plants from propagating facilities on 7 August
- Freely distributed cinnamon plants expected to be planted on National Spice Planting Day
Aaron Francois, Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Agriculture, has warned against reselling plants propagated by the 4 facilities operated by Government. He did not disclose the people engaged in the reselling, but explained that reselling has become a thriving business.
“The plants are not for resale; the plants are intended for farmers to go and establish productive fields, and so we expect the agronomy division and the extension division to work closely to make sure that all the plants that will be distributed will go in the field, not in a place for resale,” Francois said during the ceremonial commencement of plants distribution for the 2023 planting season.
“The price that we are selling the plants at is nowhere near the cost of producing it. In fact, we have a situation where some are capitalising on what we are doing here. They are coming and buying the plants cheaply for EC$2 and EC$5 and going and resell it for EC$15 and EC$20,” he said. Francois announced that staff at the propagating facilities and the agronomy division will work closely to monitor the plants on farms.
“I just want to signal that I have already indicated to the staff here at this station that the plants are not for resale; it has never been, but somehow the system has broken down, and some people feel that they can buy plants and go and resell,” he said. The general public can purchase plants from the propagating facilities on 7 August, which will cost between EC$1 and EC$12.
Allison Haynes, Head of Agronomy, said that 65,319 plants will be available from the propagating facilities. These include over 9,000 nutmeg plants, over 6,000 cocoa and over 6,000 cinnamons, and thousands of soursop, glove, turmeric, vanilla, black pepper and other spices.
Adrian Thomas, Leader of Government Business in the Upper House and Junior Agriculture Minister, told a sitting on Wednesday, 26 July that Government will be freely distributing 1,000 cinnamon plants to citizens for this planting season. The cinnamons are expected to be planted on a day designated as National Spice Planting Day.