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Tuesday 16 July 2019
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Agri minister celebrates Chaconia, flamingoes

Women look at gerbera flowers. Photo by Angelo Marcelle
Women look at gerbera flowers. Photo by Angelo Marcelle

Story and photos by Angelo Marcelle

On June 1, the Eastern Horticultural Club's opened its two-day plant and garden show, My Garden, My Sanctuary, at The Courtyard, Trinity College East, Trincity.

Even before its 10 am start time, people waited patiently to purchase from the more than 60 vendors on site with a variety of soils, plants, plant pots, fertilisers and garden accessories.

Anisha Cuffy-Persad, right, sells an Angelino plant to a customer, at the Eastern Horticultural Club’s plant and garden show, Trinity College East, Trincity. Photo by Angelo Marcelle

From gerberas to bromeliad, orchids to excoecaria cochinchinensis, citrus, fruits, seasonings and herbs, the show was a plant lover's heaven.

Minister of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries, Clarence Rambharat was in attendance and again celebrated the .double Chaconia replacing the single Chaconia as the national flower.

Plant lovers view the wide variety at the Eastern Horticultural Club’s plant and garden show. Photo by Angelo Marcelle

“Recently in Senate we approved the Bill that would re-designate the national flower to the double Chaconia, which is unique to Trinidad and Tobago. It has been a 60-year debate,” he shared with Business Day.

The minister also spoke of the importance of wildlife and flora, singling out improvements at the Caroni Bird Sanctuary. There has been an increase in the flamingo population at the sanctuary which, he explained, is the result of stringent protection measures.

A trolley of plants. Photo by Angelo Marcelle

“Trinidadians and Tobagonians love their plants and their flowers and I am trying to get them to love animals and birds. We have seen it (flamingo), grow from 35, two years ago, to 260. The ministry would be bringing two experts.... one is an expert on disaster management for livestock and the other’s expertise is on the flamingo.” The avian expert will also help to develop an area of the sanctuary to attract more flamingoes and sustain those already there.

Centeno's Farmer Training Centre agricultural officer Merle Seedial, looks for fungus on a catus at a free plant clinic, at the Eastern Horticultural Club’s plant and garden show. Photo by Angelo Marcelle

The minister said the flamingo comes from regions that have harsh dry seasons, and mainly migrate from Venezuela.

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