Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 22, 2021 (SKNIS): Approximately 1,800 papaya seedlings were distributed to farmers across St. Kitts on Thursday, October 21, 2021, as part of activities by the Ministry of Agricultural to commemorate World Food Day.
The handover ceremony was held at the Taiwan Technical Mission at Needsmust. Several Red Lady and the Tainung #2 papaya seedlings were also planted on the mission farm.
Acting Director of Agriculture, Dr. Tracy Challenger, noted that the tree-planting and donation to farmers are a component of the food security strategy.
“Without plants, we would not have a balanced diet so we need to ensure that we replace plants after they have fallen and as they are removed,” Dr. Challenger stated.
Mention was also made of the function of plants in converting carbon dioxide into oxygen as well as their importance in regulating the water cycle via rainfall.
“We have to be responsible in our actions; we have to replace trees; we have to take care of them,” she expressed.
The acting director of agriculture encouraged the farmers to ensure that some of the trees are accessible to the public so that they can enjoy the fruits when the seedlings mature and begin to bear.
The seedlings were provided by the Taiwan Technical Mission. A specialist at the Mission, Kyle Huang, noted that the Republic of China (Taiwan) is committed to assisting St Kitts and Nevis to meet the Millennium Development Goals set by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
According to FAO.org, the goals are: 1) eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; 2) achieve universal primary education; 3) promote gender equality and empower women; 4) reduce child mortality; 5) improve maternal health; 6) combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; 7) ensure environmental sustainability, and 8) develop a global partnership for development.
Mr. Huang noted that his agency would continue to work with farmers if they require assistance.