Agriculture officer Collin Maynard (centre) explaining the health benefits of basil to those on the tour. (Picture by Lennox Devonish.)
THE MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE and Food Security is rolling out a new plan of action to strengthen the linkages with health and wellness.
During the Caribbean Nutrition Conference 2018, Minister of Agriculture Indar Weir said the nexus between agriculture and health and wellness had not been pursued with the same vigour as that between agriculture and tourism.
Speaking to a full house at the Central Agronomic Research Station, Greame Hall, Christ Church, recently, Weir said: “Agriculture is critical for good health . . . . Consumption of healthy nutritious food can considerably reduce the prevalence of non-communicable diseases as well as other maladies.”
He added that the challenges for the initiative were abandoned land and availability of having fresh local food in quantities and at affordable prices. He said it was a primary focus of his to put acres of idle land into cultivation.
The minister said he would also be giving farmers incentives to help promote the use of renewable forms of energy.
Weir noted that Government would also be embarking on a special research programme in the area of medical marijuana. After the proceedings, those in audience got an opportunity to tour a greenhouse where they learnt about plants such as periwinkle, horehound, numex twilight, peppermint, karela and basil. (SB)