St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN) – The Central School Farm, 3.86 acres of farmland, shared by the secondary schools on St. Kitts and the Special Education Unit received a donation of several boxes of gardening tools from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine Resources and Cooperatives.
The farm received the donation in honour of World Food Day on October 19, 2022.
The Hon. Samal Duggins, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine Resources and Cooperatives, said the donation was in line with his ministry’s mandate to transform the sector, starting with the young people of the Federation.
“I made a commitment earlier this year to transform the sector, and now given that mandated responsibility, I am under a mission of transformation. Standing here today, we see another gesture that will move that mission forward; where we are donating tools to our children through the school farm, which manages all the farms of all the schools in the country, and these tools we expect to go a long way in transforming the mind-set of our young ones into a more positive mindset towards Agriculture where it becomes cool…when it becomes cool, fun, and exciting by our youth then it becomes a ministry that our young people will be looking forward to being a part of and that is exactly what we want.”
Minister Duggins said the ministry wants to involve the youth in its quest to increase food production, enhance food security, improve the population’s nutritional status, and help the Federation achieve a 25 percent reduction in food imports by 2025.
“The only way that we could move our transformation or agenda forward is to have the buy-in of our youth because they are the future; they are the ones that when we want to sit in our rocking chairs, they will be the productive sector out there producing, and if we don’t grab them now and harness that now then we may be in for a future that we may not be happier… that is why we are taking this step forward; to ensure we mould those young minds into a more positive outlook in Agriculture and these tools I hope will go a very long way in shaping them,” the Minister expressed.
Education Officer responsible for primary schools, Lester Richards, said the donation would contribute to Sustainable Agriculture.
“We speak about Sustainable Agriculture, and so we really want to improve in all aspects. We are going to welcome these tools, and we’re [going to] be seeking assistance in terms of seeds, chemicals, fertilisers and even support from the persons in the agri-department who can come and speak to the students and encourage them, motivate them and let them have an appreciation of Agriculture not just in school but as they finish with school later on”, Richards said.
Members of the World Food Day–Week of Activities committee, Crop Extension Officers Reiner Ferdinand and Kevin Jeffers, and Assistant Secretary Kyle Flanders were present at the brief handover ceremony of the tools to the Manager of the Central School Farm, Lindbergh Bell.