St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Nevis’s 2019 Farmer of the Year Sais Persaud is praising the Development Bank for its support over the years.
Persaud, called Melon King or the Cane Juice Man farms in Brown Hill.
“I…started about ten years ago on a leased half an acre of land and at that time I had no finance – nothing to start agriculture,” Persaud recalled. “So I went to Development Bank and I explained my situation to them. I made an application for some cash and they responded positively in about three weeks’ time, which I think was good.”
Over the years, he expanded his operations and today is working on some nine acres of land. He uses drip irrigation to grow, among others, watermelon, banana, plantains, passion fruit, season pepper, okra, papaya, lettuce, and sugarcane.
Through an additional loan from the Development Bank, Mr. Persaud was able to purchase a juice making machine with which he processes sugarcane to add value to the product. His wife Mrs Soma Persaud is the Marketing Manager and with her assistance, he is now looking at processing plantains and bananas to add value to them. He noted: “I think I am on the right track and with the Development
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture in the Nevis Island Administration, Mr Huey Sargeant described Mr Sais Persaud as one of the more prolific and innovative farmers on the island.
When the Department of Agriculture on Nevis celebrated the 25th anniversary of its Agriculture Open Day last year, Mr Persaud was recognized as ‘Farmer of the Year’.
“He is an inspiration for everyone in the sector for his especially hard and smart work attitude,” observed Mr. Sargeant. “We are always happy to support Mr. Persaud in his activities and initiatives as we are confident about his attitude and proven track record. He is always ready to assist and teach persons about his operations and is more than accommodating to the Department of Agriculture. We are also encouraged by his social and community spirit.”