Agriculture Minister visits Farmers and Fishers on Island

Agriculture Minister Carty

Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 21, 2013 (SKNIS): Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, Hon. Minister Nigel Carty, has chosen visits to stakeholders in the sector as one means of charting the way forward for the Ministry as it continues to foster and strengthen relationships with farmers and fishers.

On a recent tour of the Sandy Point Farmers Co-Operative, Min Carty accompanied Prime Minister The Right Honourable Dr Denzil Douglas and visited various farms operated by Co-op members in the area. Minister Carty and the Prime Minister answered and addressed farmers concerns and heard suggestions and communicated the Governments full support to them in this important segment of the economy.

Minister Carty also visited the Fisheries Complexes in Basseterre and Old Road and was briefed by the staff on day to day operations and expressed satisfaction with the level of operations and the quality of the products caught by fishers.

Shade house farming highlighted a visit to Tabernacle where the Minister commended Mervin and Loretta Patrick who operate a green house for tomato and sweet pepper farming and shared the Ministry’s hope that more families and farmers would embrace this type of farming to improve both yield and quality. Additionally, Minister Carty told SKNIS, “I visited a vegetable farm in Fahies operated by Ms Denise Gillard, and I’m very impressed”, further the Minister expressed encouragement at number of females who are entering the agriculture sector as farmers.

Pork farmers in Mansion were also challenged to produce more to feed residents St Kitts and Nevis. Minister Carty said that the Ministry of Agriculture has been forthcoming with assistance to pork farmers and it is available for others who consider entering this area of agriculture.

With regards to advances in agriculture, Minister Carty said, a visit to the CARDI Field Station in Mansion afforded the opportunity to see ongoing research that can be beneficial to farmers for a variety of crops. The UWI/McGill University Research Project in Belle Vue highlighted ongoing research with the development of sorgum as a feed for livestock in the Federation.

From these visits, Minister Carty said, he has heard the concerns of stakeholders; in particular that assistance should be given across the board and not just in specific areas. Farmers, he said also shared that there is a need for a better engagement between farmers, fishers and the ministry. The Agriculture Minister said, he believes that if the ministry listens to farmers and fishers and thinks about policies going forward, significant goals can be accomplished and all stakeholders will be able to live well from Agriculture. Minister Carty said, his Ministry will continue to pledge full support to farmers and fishers to ensure the development of Agriculture in St Kitts and Nevis.

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