Mrs. Lorencia Tyson-Clarke, Director of the Trade and Consumer Affairs Department, plants a fruit tree with a student on the grounds of the Maude Crosse Preparatory School March 13 as part of a collaborative effort by Department of Trade and Consumer Affairs and the Department of Agriculture in its island wide environmentally-friendly tree planting project.

The Department and Ministry of Agriculture continued its tree-planting, environmentally-friendly initiative at schools and other public and private areas on Nevis with the planting of a number of fruit trees at the Maude Crosse Preparatory School March 13 in collaboration with the Trade and Consumer Affairs Department.

Mrs. Lorencia Tyson-Clarke, Director of the Trade and Consumer Affairs Department, explained that the decision to partner with the Department of Agriculture in the project was in keeping with their adoption of the school and to mark World Consumer Rights Day.

“We have chosen to partner with the Agriculture Department in the 10,000 trees that they are supposed to be planting around the island, so we thought that it was a good idea to partner with them to continue this initiative, and we thought the school can benefit from some of these trees…. Throughout the year we will also be doing different projects that the school can benefit from,” she said.“The Department of Trade and Consumer Affairs would be celebrating World Consumer Rights Day on March 15th and this is why this initiative came about because the theme for this year is ‘A sustainable consumer,’ and in order for us to be sustainable consumers we first have to maintain our environment. We also have to make sure that we have enough natural resources that we can survive from.”

Mrs. Ellen Grant, the school’s principal, said she was proud and pleased to thank both departments for their collaborative efforts to assist the school.

“We think it is a timely gesture for them to come on board at a time when we are hearing that soon we may have to plant our own food, grow our own crops since we are being affected by the coronavirus across the world, and so I am pleased to know this morning that the Ministry of Trade and Consumer Affairs think it fit, a very fitting gesture to come on board and adopt the Maude Crosse Preparatory School,” she said.“On behalf of the board of directors, the chairman Mrs. Tresia Daniel and our teachers, all members of staff, our parents and well-wishers, we want to say a hearty thank you to the Ministry of Trade and Consumer Affairs and also the Ministry of Agriculture for coming on board and showing us that partnership really works in this community in which we live.”

Mr. Floyd Liburd, Deputy Director who is in charge of the Department of Agriculture project, expressed satisfaction with the Trade and Consumer Affairs Department’s initiative, which his department accepted. He expressed hope that other entities would do the same, and urged the students to care for the plants.

“I am asking the students of this school to please take care of these fruit trees… So, when you move to the primary school and the high school you could pass around and see those trees still flourishing and someone else can benefit from this initiative. So, take care of them. Please don’t trample on them. I want to make you all watch wardens of those plants, not only you who are here right now in this little gathering but the other students, to be watchers of these fruit trees,” he said.“We will be putting in wax apples, Bajan Cherry, the fig plant, papaya and pomegranate. Those are all fruit trees that the children can take part in and I know that the Health Promotion Unit is promoting healthy eating and healthy living on the island of Nevis, so these would go a long way towards your healthy living.”

Mr. Randy Elliott, Director of the Department of Agriculture ,noted that the department continues to promote tree planting and the planting of food crops. He urged members of the public to engage in small scale planting.

“Bearing in mind how the situation is currently as it relates to the coronavirus, we are asking persons to ensure that they continue their planting. You do your own planting within your homes just to ensure as the event becomes closer to us…for you the general public to ensure that you have food to eat, but we continue to ask persons to partner with the department, partner with any entity, as we are doing, as it relates to food security here on the island of Nevis,” he said.

The Department’s 10,000 tree planting project was launched at the St. Thomas’ Primary School Jan. 29.