by Eulana Weekes
St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The Ministry and Department of Agriculture on Nevis hosted a two day Agriculture Open Day on Thursday, March 24 and Friday, March 25, 2022. This is a return of the long anticipated event after a two years hiatus due to COVID-19. The event was hosted at the Elquemedo Tonito Willett Park as opposed to its normal venue, the Villa Grounds.
The Agriculture Open Day was held under the theme, “Availability, Accessibility, Affordability, pivotal in Sustainable Agriculture.” During a ceremony on Thursday morning, (March 24) Minister of Agriculture in the Nevis Island Administration, the Hon Alexis Jeffers urged those involved in Agriculture to pay close attention to the theme to ensure a sustainable future.
“I am giving the charge to our farmers this morning and all those who are involved in Agriculture; pay close attention to those three words, availability, accessibility and affordability. If we are to make Agriculture one of the pillars of our economy, as we know it can be, those keywords are important for us to foster a sustainable agricultural sector here on the island of Nevis and of course, throughout the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.”
Minister Jeffers added, ” I am happy to express those words this morning because our farmers have bought in to what we are trying to accomplish as an administration and they are the major stakeholders in this particular sector and once we have the buy-in from our farmers, our crop farmers, our livestock farmers, our fisherfolk, then we can speak glowingly about Agriculture for years to come.”
Jeffers explained that the availability, accessibility and affordability of crops, lands and other resources and opportunities are essential in ensuring a sustainable agricultural sector.
The Patron of the Agriculture Open Day was Mr John ‘Ford’ Parris. In reading the patron’s profile, Mr Huey Sargeant, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture said, Ford describes himself as a farmer at heart having been involved in agricultural production from the age of 4 when he injured himself with a fork while trying to follow in the footsteps of his grandmother. He said, many years later and with some luck and twists of fate, Mr Parris has made a significant contribution to the agriculture sector in maintenance and support services. The patron was presented a token of appreciation by the Minister of Agriculture.
According to an individual who attended the Open Day, seeds, seedlings, fish, meat, provisions and by-products of fresh harvest fruits were amongst the wide variety of goods that were available for sale. There was also a variety of livestock on display.
The Agriculture Open Day is an event hosted annually in March to provide farmers and fisherfolk on Nevis an opportunity to showcase their skills and also to raise awareness on the importance of agriculture.