Prime Minister Harris Lauds the Substantial Progress Being Made in the Agricultural Sector

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, March 12, 2022 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, conducted one of his regular visits to the Basseterre Public Market earlier this morning, (March 12), where he commended local farmers and vendors for contributing to the substantial progress being made in the overall advancement of the agricultural sector.

Prime Minister Harris, who was joined on his visit by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Ron Dublin-Collins, and Mr. Ian Chapman, Crops Programme Leader in the Department of Agriculture, stated that he is “quite impressed with the buildout of our strategy for food security in St. Kitts and Nevis.”

“On every visit to the public market here in Basseterre – the main outlet for receiving and trading of agricultural goods in St. Kitts – I feel comforted that we are on a path; it’s a long journey yet to go but there has been substantial progress,” Prime Minister Harris said.

Dr. Harris noted that he was particularly pleased to know that almost every produce that were being sold at the Basseterre Public Market were locally grown.

“I feel a sense that the policies that my government has put together; the stimulus packages which the farmers have benefitted from and all the other support that we have given – both at the level of technical advice and on the procurement of items to assist our farmers – that our investments are providing a dividend for our country,” said Dr. Harris.

While there, the honourable prime minister was able to witness the steady flow of persons visiting the Basseterre Public Market to patronize the local vendors. Prime Minister Harris said that is an indication that the market is “serving its purpose”.

With his market visit coming on the heels of the global observation of International Women’s Day, Prime Minister Harris commended women farmers and vendors across St. Kitts and Nevis for their contributions to the sector.

“I want to hail sister Victoria [Baucom], one of our farmers who believe in the sustainability of agriculture and has been doing quite a lot of good work there. So Victoria, I want to commend you, commend your efforts in farming… and in hailing you, I recall that we recently celebrated International Women’s Day—I want to commend all the female farmers [and] all the people who are vending with a sizable number of them [being] womenfolk,” Dr. Harris said.

As part of the build out of the agricultural sector and as part of the attempt to decentralize vending from the Basseterre area, the Department of Agriculture is investing heavily in its community market initiative, with the Bourryeau Community Market expected to come on stream in the near future.

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