(ZIZ News) — The Ministry of Agriculture, on Wednesday morning, officially opened a new facility that will serve as a Pesticides Residue Detection and Soil Fertility Analysis Lab.
As one of its primary objectives, the opening of the new facility will allow for soil fertility analysis as well as a station for the rapid detection of pesticides residue for fruits and vegetables produced locally and otherwise.
Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan), His Excellency George Gow-Wei Chiou said the main project associated with the new facility, named the Vegetable, Fruit and Upland Crops Quality and Safety Improvement Project, is the first of its kind in the region.
“It is different from the traditional mode of Agriculture consulting project. The new project will increase food production and enhance food security. This change witnesses the agriculture cooperation between the Taiwan Technical Mission and farmers of St. Kitts and Nevis reaching a new era,” he said.
The Vegetable, Fruit and Upland Crops Quality and Safety Improvement Project is a collaboration between the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Republic of China (Taiwan). It is geared towards enhancing the quality of local crop yields, promoting safety to support the development of tourism and create wealth and a brighter future for the federation.
Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton said the project has great promise for significant outcomes in productivity and quality.
“Quality that will contribute to the reduction of health risks in my mind. Research have shown that among the core challenges among our farmers is low product safety and a phenomenon that has the potential to impact marketing negatively but this project will help farmers improve their crop quality and the volume of production and sales should also be impacted as a result of this project,” he said.
Assistance will be offered to farmers under the project through training seminars, demonstrations and guidance. This will assist in compost production and fertilisation.