NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS — Hon. Alexis Jeffers, Deputy Premier of Nevis and Minister of Agriculture says since the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) changed the course of agriculture, there has seen a renewed interest and increasing yields in agriculture.
The Agriculture Minister made the comment while delivering a report on the status of agriculture on Nevis, at a sitting of the Nevis Island Assembly at Hamilton House on November 05, 2020.
“Ever since we would have pressed the reset button on agriculture as a government, we have seen persons out there who would have redoubled their effort, and there has been a revitalization in the interest in agriculture…
“Many of us who have never touched the soil or have never gotten involved in agriculture are doing so. As a matter of fact there has been a renewed interest in backyard gardening on the island of Nevis, and I want to say thank you to all of the folks …who would have seen the need to, of course, buy into that long term-tradition that we have sought to emphasize,” he said.
In recent years the Ministry and Department of Agriculture embarked on a number of campaigns including “Grow what you eat and eat what you grow” and “Support local, buy local, eat local” to encourage support for the local agriculture industry.
Mr. Jeffers noted that Agriculture officials are pleased with the public’s response to the campaigns.
“The Ministry and Department of Agriculture are pleased with the responses that we’ve had if not over the years, more so over the last six months or more… When one compares this third quarter 2020 to third quarter 2019, we would have seen a tremendous increase in the production of cabbages. For example, I am seeing here a 266 percent increase in the production of cabbages… The production of sweet potatoes, we have seen an increase of over 2000 percent…I can talk about honeydew and cantaloupe, for example, we have seen an increase of 315 percent…
“Those numbers are staggering but it speaks to something…If these numbers are saying something to us…it tells us that if we continue to press on, if we continue to persevere if we continue to plant more and produce more then we can feed ourselves on the island of Nevis,” he said.