“We have been transitioning out of sugar agriculture, but agriculture continues to be the bedrock on which the new economy is being developed,” said Prime Minister and Minister of Sustainable Development, Dr. Denzil Douglas.
Dr. Douglas made the remark as he completed a tour of the green house and the Botanical Gardens that will feature local medicinal plants – both of which are now under construction.
The 16,956 square feet green house, when completed will comprise 1,600 pieces of glass weighing 24 tons. The metal structure including the glass but excluding the blocks will weigh 108 tons when completed.
He told Taiwan’s Resident Ambassador Miguel Tsao, who accompanied him on the tour, that tourism is a leading productive sector and the Asian nation has been assisting in blending tourism and agriculture and at the same time showcasing what has been “our own culture as a people with regard to the use of medicinal bushes and plants which to a large extent have remained dormant.”
“Since the earliest days when the original people who were here – the Caribs and the Arawaks, – utilized them and supplemented of course with the arrival of the Africans, who became the main labour force in these lands, which supported the development of the sugar industry,” said Dr. Douglas, pointing out that “it’s like a rebirth of our heritage and culture that has been realised here.”
He said he looks forward to the day when he can join residents and visitors in visiting the tea house, and then stroll into the botanical gardens, “select the bushes that I would want to make a nicely brewed cup of tea and sit in the tea house and enjoy it.”
“That is why Phase 2 is so critically important, we have to complete phase 1 and forward and advance to Phase 2 so that the full extent of the project would be realised and that the full impact of the project would be felt, that tourists would use this as yet again another important part of our tourism product as we develop and enhance this destination as one of the attractive destinations in the world,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
He said the new attraction is being not only for visitors, but also for the education of the nationals and proud citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Stating that he looks forward to the completion of the project, the St. Kitts and Nevis leader pointed to what he described as the “mix that is being brought here with the realization of the government’s renewable energy policy.”
“Where this facility will also be a demonstration of the use of solar energy as a critical part of the government’s thrust in bringing renewable energy to our people, impacting on our own financial situation and positively as well impacting on the economic development strategy,” said Dr. Douglas.