Govt, Horticultural Society promoting ‘container farming’
By MELISSA DASSRATH Monday, November 1 2010
Minister of Food Production, Land and Marine Affairs Vasant Bharath announced, on Saturday, the Government will be partnering with the Horticultural Society of Trinidad and Tobago to promote a container farming programme.
Addressing the society’s annual plant sale at its Lady Chancellor Headquarters, Port-of-Spain, Bharath said that he has many memories of coming to the Horticultural Society with his mother as a child.
“In Trinidad horticulture generally refers to cultivation of ornamental flowers. What would Port-of-Spain look like without the lush vegetation of the Queen’s Park Savannah? What would the city be without the aesthetic beauty of the Botanical Gardens? One of the main thrusts of the Horticultural Society is to encourage its members and the general public to show some tangible demonstration of respect for the environment through the cultivating of plants,” Bharath said.
Bharath stated that the ministry is pleased to offer its support of the society, “We are partnering with the Horticultural Society to develop its horticultural services, developing plants and flowers and also to develop our food security in Trinidad and Tobago. Whether you are interested in commercial farming or you have a home garden, we want to encourage people to start your own vegetable garden. It is our mandate to reduce the cost of food in the country.”
The President of the Horticultural Society Sundar Seecharan explained that during the extensive dry season many of their ornamental orchids were affected. However, the Horticultural Society decided to still have an exhibition showcasing the exquisite flowers along with the annual Christmas plant market. “The Horticultural Society will also be distributing free planting supplies to persons interested in creating their own home garden or container planting.”
Environmental degradation associated with global warming, green house gases, climate change and deforestation are causes for concern. Seecharan said that the public can counteract the effects on environment by gardening.
“We are encouraging people to show some appreciation for the environment through the growing of flowering or foliage plants. The development of such horticulture will be aesthetic, but also benefit people and the environment. Our children and future generations will benefit immensely from the preservation of a healthier environment through the practice of horticulture.”
Seecharan vowed that the Horticultural Society of Trinidad and Tobago will continue its programme to train members of the public how to tend their kitchen gardens. “We think that a significant impact can be made on increasing food production as well as reduction on food costs. This is an opportunity to develop an industry and it starts at home. The Horticultural Society has encouraged commercial growers and backyard gardeners to increase vegetable production.”
To finance this programme the Horticultural Society will seek assistance of the Ministry of Education.
“We will continue our education programme in vegetable production, seek the necessary guidance and support from the extensive training and information services division of the Ministry of Food Production. We will receive the necessary financial assistance from the ministry and the support helping to make a positive impact in the area of food production. To get funding to support this initiative, we will present the minister with a budget in due course.”