Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, engages students of the Golden Valley Primary and Infant School at the annual Castleton Botanical Gardens Expo, St. Mary on Friday, May 31, 2019. The expo, hosted by the Ministry’s Public Gardens Division under this year’s theme ‘Protect our Species’ held annually to keep patrons informed about, Castleton, which is one of the great gardens of the hemisphere due to its rich plant varieties.
Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon Audley Shaw, is calling on all Jamaicans to play a greater role in protecting our plant species. He noted that a number of persons are not aware of the many medicinal benefits that can be derived from so many of our plants.
Speaking at the annual Castleton Botanical Gardens Expo in Castleton, St. Mary on May 31, under the theme ‘Protect Our Species’ the minister informed that it has been established that worldwide there are about 100 plants from which natural medicine can be derived and, of these 100 plants, 51 can be found in Jamaica.
“We must, therefore, protect our natural beauty. It is important that we preserve the flora and fauna found not only in the Castleton Gardens but all across Jamaica. What we are doing at this expo today is calling attention to Mother Nature. Calling attention to the natural beauty that we have in Jamaica, and calling attention for us to protect our plant species. This is about education and conservation,” Minister Shaw stated.
The Minister commended the Public Gardens Division of the Ministry for hosting the Expo over the years and, for its role in preserving “this part of our rich heritage, particularly the plants that are endemic to Jamaica”.
Meanwhile, Member of Parliament for South East St. Mary, Dr. Norman Dunn, reiterated the great potential that the Castleton Botanical Gardens hold.
“We are sitting on a gold mine in this area and, what I am seeking is to have a public/private partnership in its development. We want to see the Castleton Botanical Gardens become a family destination with day and night activities rather than just being a Botanical Garden,” Mr. Dunn added.
The Expo which was attended by teachers, students and patrons from the immediate and adjoining Castleton community showcased a number of display booths which included the National Environmental and Planning Agency (NEPA), the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ), the Jamaica Fire Brigade, Hope Zoo, the Jamaica Defence Force-Coast Guard Unit, among others.
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The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF) has been charged with the responsibility of driving the integration of the production of primary agricultural produce along all the stages of the supply chain through to value added and facilitating full commercialization of outputs of the agriculture, manufacturing, and service sectors.
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