On a recent tour of the Sandy Point, Minister Carty accompanied Prime Minister Denzil Douglas and visited various farms operated by Cooperative members in the area. Minister Carty and the Prime Minister answered and addressed farmers concerns and heard suggestions before communicating the Government’s full support in this important segment of the economy.
Minister Carty also visited the Fisheries Complexes in Basseterre and Old Road and was briefed by the staff on day to day operations and expressed satisfaction with the level of operations and the quality of the products caught by fishers.
Shade house farming was highlighted on a visit to Tabernacle where the Minister commended Mervin and Loretta Patrick who operate a greenhouse for tomato and sweet pepper crops and shared the Ministry’s hope that more families and farmers would embrace this type of technology to improve both yield and quality.
The Minister expressed encouragement at the number of females who are entering the agriculture sector as farmers. “I visited a vegetable farm in Fahies operated by Ms Denise Gillard, and I’m very impressed,” Minister Carty enthused.
Pork farmers in Mansion were also challenged to produce more to feed residents of St Kitts and Nevis. Minister Carty said that the Ministry of Agriculture has been forthcoming with assistance to pork farmers and it is available for others who consider entering this area
With regard to advancements, Minister Carty said that a visit to the CARDI Field Station in Mansion afforded the opportunity to see ongoing research that can be beneficial to farmers for a variety of crops. The UWI/McGill University Research Project in Belle Vue also highlighted ongoing research with the development of sorgum as a feed for livestock in the Federation.
From these visits, Minister Carty said, he was able to hear the concerns of stakeholders; specifically, that assistance should be given across the board and not just to specific areas. Farmers, he said also shared that there is need for better engagement between fishers, themselves and the Ministry. The Agriculture Minister said, he believes that if the Ministry listens to farmers and fishers and thinks about policies going forward, significant goals can be accomplished and all producers will be able to make a good livelihood from Agriculture. Minister Carty said, his Ministry will continue to pledge full support to farmers and fishers to ensure the development of Agriculture in St Kitts and Nevis.