Since the launch of the National Tree Planting Initiative (NTPI) by the Most Honourable Prime Minister Andrew Holness in 2019, Dr. Satyanarayana Parvataneni has planted approximately 130,000 seedlings towards the ‘Three Million Trees in Three Years’ goal and says he intends to double this amount before the end of three-year programme.
Dr. Parvataneni, a private planter under the Forestry Department’s Private Forestry Programme, says he fully supports the initiative and believes that the target is achievable. “If everybody is serious and sincere, it really can be done but everyone involved has to be committed,” he said.
He is however of the opinion that it is better to be done by private people instead of the government to minimize costs. “The 130,000 seedlings that have been planted were all produced by us, the only thing we bought were seedling bags. We have completely cut transportation costs because all the seedlings were propagated where they were planted", he said.
Dr. Parvataneni has been propagating his own seedlings for the almost four years, a feat he credits to the technical advice received under the Private Forestry Programme.
"We have propagated (Jamaican) Mahogany, Blue Mahoe and Cedar seedlings and we want to introduce different species and start propagating them,” he shared.
Dr. Parvataneni suggests that the government considers providing even more incentives for more private persons to get involved in tree planting initiatives.
In the meantime, the Forestry Department is encouraging private landowners with at least a quarter of an acre (1,011 sq. m.) of land not under productive use to participate in the Private Forestry Programme and join the effort to plant trees towards the 3 Million in 3 Years goal of the National Tree Planting Initiative.
Individuals are being reminded that they too can play their part by adding trees to their home gardens and community parks as well as leaving their tree legacy at their alma mater, from the early childhood to the tertiary level under the latest promotion, #MyTreeLegacy.
Persons wanting more information on the Private Forestry Programme and the National Tree Planting Initiative including the #MyTreeLegacy promotion may call the Forestry Department at (876) 618-3205 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.