Senior Minister Harris hails contribution of Agriculture stakeholder groups

Senior Minister Harris

ZIZ News…March 30, 2010 – Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, Senior Minister and Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Cooperatives on Thursday, (during 2010 Budget Debate) hailed as outstanding and complimentary the support in technical assistance and other forms being provided to St Kitts and Nevis by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Inter American Institute of Agriculture (IICA), the Agricultural Technical Mission of Taiwan, Caribbean Agriculture Research Development Institute (CARDI), the ALBA Bank of Venezuela and the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF).

Dr Harris said that the resources provided by these entities were critical support and without their contribution and assistance, the successes of the Department of Agriculture would have been less. Dr Harris lauded the Sugar Industry Development Foundation for the EC $2 million it had made available to the St Kitts and Nevis Development Bank to on lend to farmers and fishers on the most affordable terms to date.

Under the Agri-Fund being administered by the Development Bank, $1.7 million have been lent to sixty five farmers on St Kitts and Nevis. Under the terms of the agreement successful applicants receive up to $25,000 interest free and loans amounts above $25,000 attract an interest rate of six percent.

Given the success of this project, Dr Harris has called for a new tranche of EC $2 million to be made available to farmers. The loan funds have been used for a variety of purposes such as the purchase of outboard engines, purchase of fishing boats, working capital, purchase stock, fencing of land, and to purchase equipment.

Some fifteen of the sixty five beneficiaries hail from Nevis: Ramsbury Site, Buck’s Hill Village, Round Hill, St John, Brown Hill, Gingerland and Stoney Grove. Applicants in St Kitts resides in Basseterre: St Peters, Cayon, Newton Ground, Old Road, Conaree, Dieppe Bay, Tabernacle, Lodge, Molyneux, Sandy Point, etc.

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