NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS – The Nevis Island Administration (NIA) is keen to maintain the momentum achieved in agriculture in 2021 as it unveils exciting plans for the sector in 2022.
Deputy Premier Hon. Alexis Jeffers, Minister of Agriculture in the NIA says the aim for 2022 is to produce more in every area of agriculture. He outlined some of the proposed ventures the Ministry and Department of Agriculture will introduce in crop and livestock farming.
“We have done a few things over the past year that will provide the framework of the platform upon which we can build this sector. Last year we would have procured ten green houses and we would have distributed to five farmers on St. Kitts and five on Nevis. It is our effort this year to invest in more greenhouses for both islands. We want to ensure we continue to build on that particular process this year.
“We have gone forward with the establishment of a broiler industry here in St. Kitts and Nevis where we can feed ourselves with meat protein from chicken. So the initiative will be launched this year. We are hoping to have the buy-in of many of our poultry farmers who perhaps are already in egg production but we also want to see new producers coming into the sector…And I’m certain that this can be a prolific and a profitable way for our new and budding farmers to get engaged.”
Hon. Jeffers, who also holds the portfolio for agriculture in the federal government, was at the time speaking at the NIA’s Department of Agriculture Agenda 2022 held at the Malcolm Guishard Recreational Park in Pinneys Estate on January 25, 2022.
He said with the current challenges of COVID-19 and disruption and delays in the supply chain in source markets, Nevis has to position itself to be able to feed the populace. To this end the Department will be distributing free seedlings to backyard farmers and assisting potential farmers in acquiring land.
“We have to be real about our actions, real about our dialogue and real about what we do in advancing the sector. So as we chart our course forward, I’m not certain if we’ll accomplish all of our objectives this year, but one thing I can be sure of, it’s that we must eat every day, every month of 2022, so it means therefore that we have to find our way to feed ourselves.
“Over the years we have been trying to build as we move forward and we are building towards creating that legacy that when it’s all said and done our actions would have proven to be our future. We would have had better production, better nutrition, leading to a better life and that is what we are hoping to accomplish here on the island of Nevis.”
As part of its short-term goals, the Ministry will focus on increasing production in at least ten different food crops. These include pumpkin, watermelon, cantaloupe, carrots, green peppers, and sweet potatoes.