(ZIZ)– The Ministry of Agriculture is teaming up with the Republic of China – Taiwan in a project aimed at improving the quality and safety of local crops.
On Tuesday 29th July farmers and agriculture officials came together at the Department of Agriculture Conference Room for a briefing session on the Vegetable, Fruit and Upland Crop Quality and Safety Project.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Ashton Stanley, noted the importance of the project as part of the ministry’s mandate to ensure the high quality of locally grown crops.
“Regionally, locally, and internationally, the talk surrounding agriculture is food safety,” he said. “Organic farm to fork where St. Kitts simply put customers seek and go to the end of the world sometimes for low input organic chemical free safe to eat food. The Ministry of Agriculture must move and this and capture these new consumption patterns”
Stanley noted Taiwan’s continued commitment to not only the government of St. Kitts-Nevis, but the people as well.
“The Republic of China-Taiwan continues to demonstrate its commitment not only to the government of St. Kitts and Nevis but to the people and the farmers of this Federation. An important component of this project is the capacity development for both technicians and farmers,” he said.
Project Manager, Fernando Yeh, said the main goals are to strengthen the Federation’s capacity to test for pesticide residue and analyze soil fertility.
“Our primary objectives are to construct a soil fertility analysis station and a station for rapid detection of pesticide residue to handle pesticide residue detection and provide soil fertility analysis to all farmers,” he said. “Additionally, assistance will be offered to farmers through training, seminars, demonstrations, and guidance to assist them in compost production and fertilizer technology and pest control.”
Officials said this project is the first of its kind in the region. It will run for four years and is being funded by the governments of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Republic of China – Taiwan, to the tune of 3.2 million US dollars.