Agriculture Ministry to launch activities for UN Int'l Year of Plant Health

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Agriculture Ministry to launch activities for UN Int'l Year of Plant Health

Friday, January 17, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica—The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries says it will launch local activities in keeping with the Food and Agriculture Organisation's declaration of 2020 as the United Nations' International Year of Plant Health.

The ministry said the launch will be held on Wednesday, January 22 at the Hope Botanical Gardens.

According to the ministry, the launch will also serve to raise awareness on how protectingplant healthcan help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect biodiversity and the environment, and boost economic development.

Chief Plant Quarantine and Produce Inspector at the Ministry, Sanniel Wilson-Graham, said it was necessary to commit to an entire year to recognising the importance of plant health as the introduction of new pests have put plants in danger.

“It is threatening our food security and us being able as Jamaicans to 'grow what we eat and eat what we grow'. There is an increase in global trade and the changing climate further exacerbates the need for us to protect plant health. It is also important to note that 80 per cent of what we eat comes from plants,” she said.

“If our plants are being threatened it therefore means that we have a serious crisis on our hands and so we felt, not just as countries, but the international body that there is a need to highlight this through the observation of a year,” Wilson- Graham added.

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