CARDI To Assess Success Of Shipping Container Farming In St. Kitts And Nevis

Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 10, 2021 (CARDI) — The Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) is looking to conduct further feasibility assessments which focus on the conversion of shipping containers to agricultural production systems in St. Kitts.

CARDI Representative in St. Kitts and Nevis, Kistian Flemming made the announcement while recently speaking with the Media and Communications Unit in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Marine Resources.

Flemming said, “We are again using this shipping container retrofitting with hydroponics and vertical agriculture. In 2022, we want to look at the feasibility of this system. At the end of the day it can look nice and sound very nice but if it is not feasible, economically feasible then we may not have any major success with the concept so in 2022 we are looking at the feasibility of this model and also looking at alternative energy reduction measures”.

Mr. Flemming noted that one of the challenges of using this farming system stems from the ability to keep the container cool.

“At the moment we have an air-conditioned unit which demands a lot of energy to cool the shipping container so in 2022 and beyond, we will be looking at alternative measures that we can utilise. For example, the stability of the earth to cool the shipping container as 5 metres below the earth’s surface tends to be relatively stable in its temperature as well as cooler than the external temperature so we want to leverage this resource to cool the inside of the shipping container in a subject called geothermal cooling”, he explained.

The vertical hydroponic farm designs are built entirely inside a shipping container to offer farmers a solution to several problems including; the unavailability of land, pests, and climatic challenges.

The CARDI Representative also used the opportunity to pledge the Research Institutes’ commitment to working with the Ministry of Agriculture and increasing support of the agricultural sector in 2022 through training, production, and disease management.

Last year, CARDI helped to facilitate the procuring of roots and tubers to aid in the development of the Fahies Outreach Centre in Newton Ground as well as enhance food security and meet nutritional goals for the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.

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