by Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Agriculture is one of the leading sectors of St. Kitts and Nevis, supplying products for domestic and foreign markets. This opportunity becomes even more accessible for residents when the products are brought outdoors to their avail.
This year, 2023, is the inaugural hosting of Agri Expo, an improved version of what is commonly called Agriculture Open Day on the island of Nevis.
Mr Brandon Frederick, Estate Manager at the Department of Agriculture, said the field and greenhouse workers are working diligently to deliver a large quantity of Grade A quality crops.
“Currently, we’re here at Prospect Estate, where we have some sweet potatoes. The approximate yield should be about 2,000 lbs. They should be available for the Agri Expo on the 30th and 31st of this month. Here in New River, we have a half acre of sweet potato, in addition with the other half in Prospect that makes up 1 acre of sweet potato that will be available for the Agri Expo. It should yield about 4,000 lbs. We also have here a lovely crop of corn which is a half acre. This should yield about 1,500 lbs. Right here, we have some lovely watermelons. The acreage of this field is 0.75 of an acre. We should be able to harvest about 7,500 lbs of watermelon from this field. Here in New River, we have a half acre of prestige carrots. This field should yield about 5,000 lbs. This should also be available for the Agri Expo. We have one acre of onion; this should approximately give us about 10,000 lbs of onion. We’re at the final stage of curing, which is wind rowing and sun drying that gives us the golden brown appearance that everyone looks for at their local supermarket.”
Additional crop availability includes tomatoes, cabbage, sweet peppers and celery. Frederick said about 2,000 lbs of tomatoes, 300 cabbage, 300 celery and 5,000 sweet peppers should be ready just in time for Agri Expo 2023.
Meanwhile, Mr Gary Griffin, Manager at the Abattoir Division, said a Meat Aging Room was recently installed at the Abattoir. Meat Aging is a process by which a caucus is hung in a room under a certain temperature for about three weeks or 21 days to be tenderised.
Griffin said the first trial at the Meat Aging Room was a beef caucus, which has since been cut into various forms, including top round, bottom round, eye round, ribs, T-bone steak, chuck steak and rib eye. The products, Griffin said, will be sold for the first time at the Agri Expo, thus paving the way for sale to the general public thereafter.
Agri Expo 2023 will be hosted at the Elquemedo T Willett Park on March 30 to 31 under the patronage of Mr Collin Huggins. The theme for the event is ” Together for food sovereignty; Agri Expo 2023.