Canadian Government donates EC $47,000 to agriculture

Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris

ZIZ News…Sept 23, 2011 – Senior Minister, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 thanked the government of Canada for its kind donation of just over EC 47,000 to facilitate the establishment of two green house facilities; one at the school farm at Needsmust and the other at Charlestown High School.

The greenhouses will be used to provide seedlings and ornamental plants to school gardens and farmers on an ongoing basis. The St Kitts and Nevis agricultural youth forum wants to encourage a move away from traditional agricultural methods and towards the use of agricultural technology among students as well as both young and established farmers. The green houses will be available for both practical and theoretical training for students as well as for use by young farmers.

A secure location will be available for agricultural, educational and experimental research in crop production. The project also includes training in green house production, hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) and plant research.

Senior Minister Harris addressed the importance of protected agriculture in the context of the Ministry’s program to improve food security and achieve the millennium development goals (MDG). One of the millennium development goals is to halve the number of hungry people in the world by 2015. They are now 925 million malnourished people in the world. Achieving this MDG (halving poverty) will be difficult to be realized at the current levels of output and distribution.

Dr Harris commended the students for their interest in agriculture and asked them to broaden their vista regarding the range of career options in agriculture across the rubric of plant and animal production and health, food safety, agricultural marketing, soil and crop sciences, plant science and business management. Dr Harris welcomed the students whom he said “represented the new cadre of young people interested in pursuing agriculture on a sustainable basis and importantly in applying science and technology to agriculture. It is through the application of science and technology that we have the greatest probability of improving on food production and productivity along the agricultural value chain”.

Also in attendance at the handing over ceremony were H. E. Ruth Archibald, Canadian High Commissioner to Barbados and the OECS, Mr Augustine Merchant, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) local representative, Mrs Ionie Willett, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Mr Stuart Versailles, President of the St Kitts Agriculture Youth Forum.

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