Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 05, 2021 (SKNIS): The St. Kitts ECO Park will soon be the home to a new apiculture and biodiversity project sponsored by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants UNDP Country Programme, said Carlene Henry-Morton, Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Tourism, during her appearance on the November 03 edition of Working for You.
The project is an international initiative aimed at establishing a sustainable apiculture or beekeeping industry in six Caribbean countries including St. Kitts and Nevis; Dominica; Grenada; Saint Lucia; St. Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Samoa in the Pacific.
“The project aims to successfully undertake the facilitation of the establishment and development of two apiaries, one on St. Kitts and the other on Nevis. Each country will start with about 10 and the St. Kitts Eco Park has been selected because of its emphasis on environmental sustainability, and biodiversity conservation,” said Mrs. Henry-Morton. “It aims to provide technical support and upskilling of clusters of honey keepers for sustainable livelihoods for persons in our rural communities in particular through the sale of local honey and the use of wax and so on in the production of the byproducts…”
PS Henry-Morton said that the relevant stakeholders will work closely with beekeepers in St. Kitts and Nevis to develop the sector.
“We want to facilitate the participation of beekeepers and small apiculturists in all training organized under the project. So, it is not just about throwing money but it is about upskilling as well,” she said. “We are going to engage in the redistribution of complete hives to beekeeping clusters aimed at supporting food security and livelihood for the members. So, the idea is that we start off with 10 at Eco Park and then once we look after those hives we get about 20. We hold onto the original 10 and that second batch of 10 we give two to a cluster in Sandy Point, two to some people in Molineux… to start their little business.”
She added that when their business branches off they will then help others to grow theirs. She noted that based on research, there are only 75 managed hives in the Federation at present.
“The idea is to move that 75 to over 300. And we know that there is quite a market for local honey, there is quite a market for wax and so on to make candles and all kinds of other body products. It is a way for generating and supplementing income, decent livelihoods and training…” said the permanent secretary.
The project, which is expected to be implemented in November 2021, is budgeted at EC $882, 300.