Adequate supply of raw material available for Agro-processing Sector, says Nevis Agriculture Official

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture on Nevis Dr. Kelvin Daly

NEVIS (April 23, 2010) — Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture on Nevis Dr. Kelvin Daly, said Tuesday that the Ministry in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture had moved expeditiously, to ensure the availability of adequate raw materials to satisfy the needs of the Agro-processing Sector on the island.

His announcement came when he delivered remarks at the official opening of the Nevis Agro Processing Centre at Prospect.

Dr. Daly said in order for the Agro processors to protect the unique taste and quality of their product mass marketing was not an option and advised the agro processors to develop niche markets facilitated by direct sales to consumers beyond the shores of Nevis.

Among the challenges that move would present was locking into a sustainable, consistent and affordable supply of raw material.

“In 2007 the beginnings of what would become a 10 acre fruit orchard, was established at New River Estate to augment the considerable efforts of our Plant Propagation Unit, the Republic of China on Taiwan Technical Mission at Cades Bay, have donated generously to this project.

“We have already planted limes, oranges, guava, cashew, coconut and manciport. Soon to come are jujure and local exotics,” he said.

Some of many locally produced fruits available on Nevis in abundance

Dr. Daly said the Ministry and Department of Agriculture has also encouraged and supported the development of private orchards and pointed to a 10 acre mango orchard at Wards Estate owned by Mr. James Gaskell and a three acre citrus orchard at Hamilton Estate owned by Mrs. Estha Bramble.

Notwithstanding, the Agriculture Official said there was need for much more and as such the challenge was each person to become involved even to plant one tree.

Beyond fruits, Dr. Daly said there was also potential for ready to cook vegetables, citing that the possibilities were limited only by one’s imagination.

With regard to marketing the products which he said was a formidable challenge, the Permanent Secretary noted that in his view, the wheel that would help to solve that problem had already been invented.

“It’s called the Internet. Of all the communication media, it is by far the most accessible and affordable marketing tool. The plethora of local websites could offer links and hyperlinks to products available for sale on the internet,” he said.

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