PM Douglas says agriculture is important to economic diversification

A Verchild’s High School student speaks with St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas during his tour of the Agricultural Fair.
St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas looks at bottled Coconut Oil on display and on sale at the Agricultural Fair.
St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas encourages women of the Fahie’s Agricultural Co-operative Society at the Agricultural Fair.

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, MAY 2ND 2012 (CUOPM) – Government has made it abundantly clear its seriousness in the diversification of the St. Kitts and Nevis economy.

Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas says evidence of this was visible at last week’s agricultural exhibition although there are still some out moded attitudes toward agriculture still exist in the minds of many.

“All over the world, agriculture means business. Agriculture means security. Agriculture means independence. People in other countries know and understand this, and this Government is determined that the people of St. Kitts and Nevis will know and understand this as well,” said Dr. Douglas.

“No longer must we see agriculture as an old man heading to his mountain-ground, all alone at five in the morning or a frantic mother rushing to tend a few crops before dawn, on some distant plot, before heading out for a hard day’s work elsewhere. No. That old man and that old woman did what they had to do, they did the best that they could, and we honor and respect their hard work in the face of grueling, unrelenting adversity,” said the Prime Minister.

Dr. Douglas said that agriculture moves forward and in St. Kitts and Nevis, it must been seen as a multi-faceted, dynamic and key to the security of countless economies around the world.

He commended Minister of Agriculture, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, for all that he and his ministry have been doing to ensure that the people of St. Kitts and Nevis will understand the tremendous opportunities inherent in agriculture.

“Last week’s Agricultural Fair made that point abundantly clear. As that event showed, not only is this Government determined to change our people’s attitudes toward agriculture, but the Ministry has skillfully revolutionised its approach to the “selling” of agriculture. No longer is its Agricultural Exhibition simply a day when one looks at farm produce and livestock. It has now been transformed into a lively, activity-packed period of days, with entertainment and other attractions that more effectively reminds the public of the many positive dimensions of, and possibilities associated with, the agricultural sector. We were called Liamuiga by the Kalinago for a reason. And last week’s Agricultural Exhibit forcefully reminded us why,” said the St. Kitts and Nevis leader.

Dr. Douglas used the opportunity to urge those with an entrepreneurial bent to undertake the necessary research, initiate the relevant discussions, think in terms of inputs, markets, yields, packaging, and so on and most of all – see agriculture as business.

“Think about and approach it with the seriousness that it deserves, and you can be assured that for those who are serious about investing the same time and energy that any other entrepreneurial enterprise demands, agriculture constitutes an open and positive path to social and economic stability. Where agriculture and other fields are concerned, we need dynamism. We need imagination. We need determination. But we need skills as well. Real-world, twenty-first century, marketable and competitive skills,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

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