6,000 trees to be planted for Jamaica 60
State Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Franklin Witter (second from left), participates in a recent tree-planting exercise at the Ministry’s Kingston offices. Among those looking on are Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dermon Spence (left). (Photos: Contributed)

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Six thousand trees are to be planted across the island by Agro-Investment Corporation (AIC) in partnership with the Forestry Department, to mark ‘Jamaica 60’.

The project will get under way on August 31, with an official launch and symbolic tree planting at the Amity Hall Agro Park in St Catherine.

According to a release, the 6,000 seedlings, including fruit, timber and ornamental trees, will be provided by the Forestry Department and planted by the AIC team at the agro parks and production zones across the country.

These comprise the Ebony Park and Spring Plain Agro Parks in Clarendon; New Forest/Duff House Agro Park in St Elizabeth; Yallahs and Plantain Garden River Agro Parks in St Thomas; Holland Estate in St Elizabeth; and New Pen Production Zone in St Mary.

The move will also contribute to the National Tree Planting Initiative launched in 2019 by Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, with a target of three million trees in three years.

As of March 2022, more than a million trees have been planted/distributed in support of that initiative, said the AIC.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the entity, Dr Al Powell, said that “the objective is to pay tribute to the 60th anniversary of our country’s Independence as well as to support the National Tree Planting initiative. [We have] a passion for agricultural investments, including investments in orchard and tree crops”.

Conservator of Forests and CEO of the Forestry Department, Ainsley Henry, added that the “tree planting is about investing in our future. We must continue to ensure that we make the necessary investments to safeguard our environment for future generations. We welcome this partnership as one of our activities to celebrate Jamaica’s 60”.

The AIC is the Agribusiness investment facilitation arm of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. The Forestry Department is the Government's lead agency in the protection and conservation of the island's forest resources.

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