Tuesday 26 May, 2020

Growing seedlings is essential, says PM

Image by J Garget from Pixabay.

Image by J Garget from Pixabay.

Agricultural stores and others are assured that the growing of seedlings falls under the COVID-19 regulations as an essential service.

During Wednesday's media briefing on matters related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), National Security Minister Stuart Young reminded the public that agricultural work - and growing of seedlings - falls under the list of essential services. 

Young said he was told to relay the message by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. 

“The Honourable Prime Minister told me with respect to seedlings and those who produce seedlings, you are covered under the regulations. Please continue to proceed with producing your seedlings that are needed for agriculture.”

Dr Rowley's message coincides with Earth Day which is commemorated on April 22, 2020.

Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Clarence Rambharat said this year, which is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, enforces the importance of tackling climate change. 

He referred to Denis Hayes, who launched the first Earth Day in 1970:

"As we turned into 2020 and headed towards today’s 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, US-based Denis Hayes, the coordinator of the first Earth Day in 1970 could not have conceived the 50th year meeting the planet so quiet. Road traffic halted. Airlines grounded. Oil trading at minus dollars. Gasoline and diesel sales at their lowest. All forms of travel minimal. Plants shut. Noise down. Outdoor activities halted." 

"In several interviews for the 50th Anniversary, Hayes has taken a different look at COVID-19, integrating climate change to say, “COVID-19 has demonstrated the fragility of our system and showcases how there is an urgent need to build strong safety nets for our disadvantaged groups. Climate change has undeniable links with development; it is a developmental issue that needs to be addressed along with all other metrics of development. We have to be able to pull together as a planet, as a species. We need to start tackling climate change with a unified passion”." 

"As our post-COVID-19 Road Map Team gets working, this is a strong message from the man whose two-hour conversation with US Senator Gaylord Kelshall kickstarted the first Earth Day 50 years ago. Focus on the disadvantaged: even small disruptions affect them disproportionately."

Rambharat said earlier this month that his Ministry would be distributing seeds to 50,000 households, for the growth of food crops at home. The Ministry said more information on distribution of the seeds would be made availabel in due course. 

Earth Day is credited with launching the modern environmental movement and is now recognized as the planet’s largest civic event.

For more information on Earth Day, visit https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-2020/

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