Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): The Ministry of Agriculture in St. Kitts and Nevis is embarking on an initiative to strengthen women’s entrepreneurship in agriculture in 2022.
“We from the ministry’s standpoint will, in 2022, seek to provide assistance and a pathway for women to enter the agriculture sector and to harness their skills and the contribution that they can make in crop farming, fishing, livestock farming, agro-processing, because we do feel that even though we have an abundance of male in the sector, we believe that women can play equally, an important role in advancing the sector,” said the Honourable Alexis Jeffers, Minister of Agriculture et al during the Annual Review Planning Meeting on Tuesday, February 22, 2022, at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.
Minister Jeffers added that on this year’s observance of International Women’s Day (March 08), the ministry will roll out a programme for women “to be involved and play their meaningful part in the progress of agriculture” in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Equally important, the agriculture minister noted that the ministry will also reintroduce farming in schools for the sustainability of the sector.
“When we speak of women, we haven’t forgotten the youth because most of our farmers are… getting up in age and indeed as they exit the stage we want to have that sustainability in agriculture where we can continue this sector and continue to reap the harvest of the production that we can have in St. Kitts and Nevis,” he said. “So we want to bring our youth along. And as such, that is why we are going back to the schools in terms of introducing greenhouses and shade houses to our schools.”
Minister Jeffers said that to see agriculture as an exciting and profitable career path for young people, the ministry intends to utilize technology.
“We have continued in that vein in terms of ensuring that technology is brought to our young school children so that they can gravitate to agriculture. The open field agriculture that most of us senior farmers are accustomed to, our young people will not be too inclined to go that route,” he said. “With all these smartphones, iPod and all of the technology that are available to our young people, they want a better way and a more technologically sound way to engage in agriculture and that is why we are bringing the technology to young people so that we can get involved and have that sustainability,” Minister Jeffers added.
The Annual Review Planning Meeting was held under the theme, “Innovation and Sustainability: A New Strategy for Agriculture in St. Kitts and Nevis.”