Prime Minister Douglas ‘very impressed’ with local vegetable nursery that propagates 50,000 seedlings monthly

Prime Minister the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas (right) being taken on the tour by Mr. Ian Chapman

BASSETERRE,ST. KITTS, MAY 10TH 2012 (CUOPM) -A Shadwell resident is crediting St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas for turning the backyard and sides of his residence into one of the federation’s leading vegetable seedling nursery in the twin-island federation.

Ian Chapman, who propagates 50,000 seedlings monthly, told Dr. Douglas during an invited visit last Thursday that the suggestion came from him (Dr. Douglas) when he urged those attending an election campaign meeting in Old Road to plant food in their backyards.

“I am very, very, very impressed with what Mr. Chapman is doing. In this small space he propagates 50,000 seedlings at any one time and this has to be a record in agriculture in back yard farming. Disposing 30,000 seedlings monthly to farmers in both St. Kitts and Nevis is a comfort to me as the Prime Minster, that we are on to something positive in the rebirth of agriculture as a leading productive sector in St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Dr. Douglas at the end of the visit.

Prime Minister Douglas used the opportunity to encourage the residents of St. Kitts and Nevis to follow the example set by Mr. Chapman and get into an agricultural activity in some form.

“You don’t have to have any big farm. All you need is some space in your backyard. You can get your seedlings from Chapman or whoever else is there and you can begin to make your own impact on food security, save scarce foreign exchange and in some way contribute to controlling the cost of living in your own family and in the country generally,” said Dr. Douglas, who congratulated Mr. Chapman for the tremendous work that he is doing with little space.

Mr. Chapman, who also works as an Agricultural Officer at the Department of Agriculture told the Communications Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister (CUOPM) that has also travelled to Brazil, Taiwan and Costa Rica – some of the major agricultural places and key industries in the world.

The seedlings at the vegetable nursery in the backyard of Ian Chapman’s residence

“Agriculture is a driving force and what they consume is really what they produce and not sending money out of their country. These were also some of the factors and if we can do something like this, and how can I help apart from my everyday work being an agricultural officer at the Department of Agriculture.

How can I help the country to contribute to food security and reduce the high food import bill? While others are sleeping, I am toiling in the night. As a businessman generating income, I try to ensure that the country benefits from the end product,” said Chapman.

Chapman sells his seedlings to commercial and backyard gardeners in both St. Kitts and Nevis.

“I have 70 customers in St. Kitts and 10 on Nevis. I presently have orders for 83 trays of thyme. Each tray has 73 plants and that’s just over 6, 000,” he told Prime Minister Douglas.

Mr. Chapman has several varieties of seedlings at the nursery including thyme, hotpeppers, sweet peppers, seasoning peppers, carrots, tomatoes, cabbage, eggplant, spinach, okra, beets, water melon, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, parsley, corn, squash, cucumber and zucchini.

Mr. Chapman can be contacted at 668-2340 or 762-2340.

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