by Eulana Weekes
St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis and leader of the People’s Labour Party (PLP), the Hon Dr. Timothy Harris is encouraging people to support local farmers and local vendors in St Kitts and Nevis.
Harris gave that encouragement on Saturday, June 02 whilst he and his team of PLP candidates and supporters visited the Basseterre Public Market.
“We’re here at our Public Market giving support to all of our farmers and small business people [and I’m] encouraging as many of you to come and show support to the farmers; support our efforts at food security by investing in the local farming community. Every item that you purchase encourages a farmer to do more and to contribute more to our food security.”
Vendors and Farmers from Nevis were also present at the market selling a variety of locally grown produce. Prime Minister Harris added that the market houses the majority of farmers in St Kitts and Nevis, making it the best place to purchase a wide range of fresh fruits, vegetables and provisions.
The matter of food security remains one of the main priorities of the Government of St Kitts and Nevis. The Prime Minister shares the view that we in the Federation will have to take more responsibility in supplying our own food.
“The challenges of food security means that by and large we need to do more for ourselves and therefore over the last couple of years, my Government has given strong support to our farmers and fisherfolk in St Kitts and Nevis. For example, we were able to give them the harrowing services for their land free of cost. They were able to access equipment required for their farms free of duty. Fencing wires were provided to them. For those involved in fisheries, they get duty free concessions; they get support in the purchase of a variety of imports and we provide the necessary fishing aggregate devices to improve their catch.”
Harris also revealed that there have been improvements in the farming and fishing sectors since the Pandemic.
“Over the last two years or so, notwithstanding the pandemic, we have seen our farms and our fishing sectors coming back to life. And in fact, I think last year, we would have recorded a 10 percent increase. We have over 1,000 plus persons registered with our fisheries department in St Kitts and we have over 1,000 registered farmers. So this is a growing area.”
Acknowledging that more and more people have become involved in the agriculture and aquaculture sectors, Harris said he would love to see a continuation of independent actions.