2000 get jobs planting trees
THE Forestry Department in the Ministry of Agriculture has reported that 2,004 persons have been employed in 190 tree planting projects since the start of the Forestry component of the Lift Up Jamaica programme in August 1999.
The projects are aimed at enhancing the department's reforestation programmes by increasing nursery production and maintaining trails and boundaries.
In a document from the department, project manager, Upton Edwards, noted that the projects began with the planting of forest tree seedlings at the Mount Airy Nursery project in St Andrew.
He pointed out, too, that with the exception of Kingston and St Mary, the department had implemented projects in every parish throughout the island.
The scope of work included planting 462 hectares of forestlands with various species, including Carib pine, mahogany, cedar, Spanish elm and other hardwood species.
The employees maintained (weeded) 566 hectares of young plantations; 216 kilometres of forest roads and trails; 219 kilometres of forest boundaries and firelines; produced over 464,000 timber seedlings, and thinned 182 hectares of pine plantations.
Work was concentrated in the western, eastern and central regions of the island. Areas in the western region which benefited under the project included Gouri, Lowe River, Troy, Quickstep, Burnt Ground, and Mango Valley. In the central region, Barrett Pen, Peckham, York Castle, Union Hill, James Hill, Bull Head and Bogue all got attention, while areas in the eastern region included, Comfort Castle, Chepstowe, Shirley Castle and Enfield.
Edwards said the department also trained, 2,056 persons through the Heart Trust/NTA. And with the extension of the project to March 2002, Edwards stated that the department would be seeking to realise more of its targets and increase its employment projection.