Saint Kitts
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Farmers Express Satisfaction with Agriculture Ministry’s 25 By 25 Agenda Plan Whilst Echoing Call for Togetherness

Basseterre, St. Kitts: Farmers have expressed their satisfaction with the efforts made by the government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine Resources and Cooperatives following the official launch of its comprehensive strategic plan that outlines St. Kitts and Nevis’ approach to achieving CARICOM’s 25 by 2025 Agenda.

The ceremony highlighted the goals and steps to be undertaken which are designed to help the federation of St. Kitts and Nevis reduce its food import bill by 25 percent by the year 2025. It gave farmers, fishers, food vendors, meat producers and other agricultural stakeholders the opportunity to provide feedback and engage in meaningful dialogue with leaders and policymakers. Crop Farmer, King Garbo Unika Ajama Chapman explained how pleased he felt to hear and see the updated data collected for the development of the strategic plan. He also used the opportunity to share a positive message with his fellow farmers.

He said, “The presentation was up to date and that is what the farmers [were] waiting for, for a long time. I just wanted to tell the farming community to throw the politics behind you know, and try to move things forward as a progressive people so we could feed [our]selves. We see how the world is running and we know what black people face so it’s high time that we get independent on all levels.”

Meanwhile, a well-known farmer and former Crop Extension Officer on Nevis, Daniel Arthurton echoed the same sentiments and praised the Minister of Agriculture et. al, Honourable Samal Duggins and his team for giving agricultural stakeholders the opportunity to participate in the forum.

Farmer Arthurton made it clear that the successful achievement of food security would only be possible if stakeholders worked together and make the necessary sacrifices. He also advised food producers to take advantage of the government’s assistance to help boost productivity.

He noted, “First I would like to say that every journey starts with the first step. I think that this is a useful interaction and in agriculture you know you have active ingredients and inert matter, so the people who deal with fertilizers and chemicals understand that. I think we should have a reasoning and I think that the reasoning will not happen if we are talking past each other. We have to see the power in numbers, we have to see that individuals may have to spend some of their money. We will have to do like [Leon Anthony] Mr. Yello and show that you are using because I would not give anybody one square inch of land if they are not showing me that they are presently utilizing it.”

In St. Kitts and Nevis, the national food import bill is recorded at nearly $200 million dollars. Therefore, with the implementation of the 25 by 25 Strategic Plan, reaching the target of 25 percent will reduce the total expense by an estimated $50 million dollars each year.