(Press release) In commemoration of World Food Day, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine Resources and Cooperatives donated a number of Soursop trees to the Antioch Baptist church during a brief tree planting ceremony on October 18th 2022.
The ceremony was led by Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine Resources and Cooperatives, Miguel Flemming, who made the presentation of trees to Lead Pastor of the Antioch Baptist church, Lincoln Connor.
“We are sure that in a number of years that we will be able to harvest some soursop and I hope from time to time when the members from your church walk the yard they can see now that good things are happening in the yard and it inspires them basically to go back home and want to do the same”, Mr. Flemming said.
Pastor Connor expressed his heartfelt gratitude in the efforts made by the ministry to restart the process of tree planting in the church.
He said, “I am happy that you are starting us in the process in which we have been a little
delinquent. Our intention has always been to plant some fruit trees but now that you have started us off we definitely are going to continue.”
He additionally highlighted the benefits of the soursop trees in relation to breast cancer treatment and encouraged the Ministry to continue the process of making the trees available to the public.
“I find it particularly instructive as this is also breast cancer awareness month and we are planting Soursop trees which we know the healing properties of the soursop and lots of people don’t like the soursop, but the soursop tree has tremendous healing properties which of course includes the antioxidants and vitamin C but most of them tell us that the soursop can fight cancer even stronger than chemotherapy…I want to encourage the Department of Agriculture even as you have begun this process to make available seedlings to individuals and slips and encourage even a soursop drive so that people can have one in their yards and talk about the impact of it”, Pastor Connor stated.
To seal the moment, Crop Program Leader, Ian Chapman assisted Pastor Connor in planting the first soursop tree in the church yard to start the process of what would be the beginning of successful fruition.
Meanwhile, the ministry extended its goodwill by also donating seedlings to the Department of Social Services.
Acting Permanent Secretary, Miguel Flemming acknowledged his team in the Ministry for making the donations possible and assured the department of their investment of continual support.
He said “I would like to thank my team for coming up with such a wonderful idea because this surrounds the theme of leaving no one behind and we thought that this is a nice gesture and we also want to let you know that we are here to provide the necessary support now and beyond.”
Supervisor of the Department of Social Services, Dahlia Scarborough, received and expressed thanks for the seedlings on behalf of the Department, which will now deliver the seedlings to select families or any other vulnerable groups.
“On behalf of the departments and all those who would be receiving the seedlings we are grateful for this opportunity to collaborate with the MOA during your celebration of world food day under the theme leave no one behind”, Mrs. Scarborough stated.
She also endorsed the message of the theme for World Food Day “Leave No One Behind”,
encouraging everyone to educate each other about the importance of food security.
“We definitely agree with you and support the idea that food is a basic necessity and is important for us to encourage the vulnerable groups that we serve– those being the seniors, parents of single mothers and single fathers, persons living with disabilities and also other persons who are at risk and encouraging them that food security is important and eating a healthy diet is also important”, the Supervisor added.
The Antioch Baptist church vows to make their intentions of spreading awareness known to the members of the church so that they too can benefit from the result of the donation.
The Department of Social Services echoed the same sentiments and pledged to do the same with staff and vulnerable groups.