Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 15, 2021 (SKNIS): Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Dr. The Honourable Timothy Harris said that farmers have been benefiting from the stimulus package.
Speaking during his virtual forum series ‘Leadership Matters’ on July 13, Prime Minister Harris said, “Farmers have been benefiting from the stimulus package of 2020 and they continue to benefit in 2021 because in this year’s budget we provided three million dollars to help the farming sector to continue its work and significant benefits have accrued to the farmers individually and collectively.”
“At the individual levels, hundreds of acres of land were ploughed or harrowed for the farmers free of cost, seeds have been provided to them free of cost and other inputs either free of costs or at a significantly reduced price,” he added.
He also said that farmers received a stipend for livestock losses attributed to the Dermatophilosis disease.
“Additionally, the Ministry of Agriculture has used the three million dollars or a portion of it to establish a meat processing plant at the abattoir and they are now constructing the processing facility and are now outfitting it,” Prime Minister Harris said.
“There are two renovated packhouses and they have secured a delivery van and have done some upgrades at the Basseterre Public Market; of course, this is a work in progress and more work is to be done, for example, the roof and the stall, etc,” he said.
The Ministry of Agriculture has also been providing shade houses to a number of farmers with a view to ensure that they can sustain their production of crops, fruits, and vegetables, over an extended period of time.
“The fisher folks likewise are beneficiaries of those three million dollars and of course up to June 2021, 20 duty-free requests were received from the fisheries department, and among the items which were approved for duty-free, would be pick-up trucks, engines, vessels, repair equipment and wires,” said the prime minister.
Farmers continue to benefit in 2021 as there have been twelve applications for duty-free concessions, eleven from crop farmers and one from a livestock farmer.