Individuals who understand the benefits that could be derived from a co-operative venture between Tourism and Agriculture and who had sought to bring about such a project were commended by senior Minister Harris for providing the impetus and inspiration for continued attempts. The efforts of persons such as Stephen Duggins, Euclid Clarke, Ronald Thomas and Earle Thomas were remembered.
The minister highlighted Caribbean successes in agro-tourism including that of The Super Club Resort Chain in Jamaica and Jamaica’s agricultural sector. Also mentioned were Sandals in Jamaica and St. Lucia. In Nevis, the Four Seasons Resort has developed a strong partnership with the Farmers Cooperative there. He called on other local hotel chains to do likewise.
Emphasizing the need for Agriculture to be competitive and sustainable, Senior Minister Harris said Agriculture must also be modern and achievable in the context of today’s young entrepreneurs.
The minister also highlighted the need for supporting infrastructure such as an abundant water supply among others. He stated that ensuring the availability of such would reduce the ‘drudgery’ and ‘humbug’ associated with traditional Agricultural practices.
He has also committed his Ministry to seeking to provide resources for greater research and the application of research on farms locally. He also stated that this agro-tourism farm would engage in the research of suitable varieties of plants which will offer farmers better options for increased productivity and profit.
The minister remarked that the intention of the farm to address the increased issue of pests was one of its highly welcomed features.