Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar is calling on persons granted licences to grow marijuana not to cut down fruit trees in the process of preparing the land.
He said that the Medical Cannabis Authority includes a food security unit and has “a clear mandate that as we develop this industry that we do not risk our food security”.
He noted that a notice was issued recently saying that the authority will not condone anyone cutting fruit trees to plant cannabis.
“We have our inspectors who will guide you that you have to leave the fruit trees on the land. You have to leave the mango trees, you have to leave the guavas, leave the wax apples because at the end of the day, we want to maintain our presence in the regional and international market as an exporter of food,” Caesar told a press conference in Kingstown last week.
“So when you have a food security unit, these are some of the matters that we are going to address,” he said.
He said the unit will also address the utilisation of land for cannabis where there is the possibility of having a diversified production system “where the person who is going into cannabis, if there is any land extra, that they can plant other crops so that we can cement our quest to have a more diversified agricultural sector”.