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St Kitts and Nevis seeks to expand the role of women and youth in agriculture

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Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): The Ministry of Agriculture in St. Kitts is working to build a robust and sustainable human resource base to grow agricultural production by creating more opportunities for women and youth to enter the field.

The initiative is based on international best practices and is included in the St. Kitts and Nevis Agriculture Transformation and Growth Strategy for the period 2022-2031.

“What we found is that women stick to the task. Men sometimes give up easily if it does not work, and they just decide to change. But women, they will continue to try and try until they become experts in the area,” said Miguel Flemming, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture. The comments were made on the April 12, 2023, edition of the radio and television programme InFocus.

Statistics have shown that many of the women in farming who are currently in contact with the Department of Agriculture have been doing so for years. It is a trend that Mr. Flemming explained can be found in many countries.

“When I travel around the world, and I see the movers and shakers in agriculture, they are women and youth [and] sometimes persons who actually don’t have any experience whatsoever in agriculture, but [they have] the business mindset. So, we have to educate our farmers and persons coming into agriculture to work with us to execute our strategic plan.”

A new report by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) considered the “Status of Women in Agrifood Systems” and indicates that women make up 36 percent of the agrifood system workforce in Latin America and the Caribbean. The study added that closing the gender gap in farm productivity and the wage gap in farm productivity and the wage gap in agricultural employment would increase global gross domestic product by nearly $1 trillion and reduce the number of food-insecure people by 45 million.

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