Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 16, 2021 (SKNIS): Production and productivity are two watchwords for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Marine Resources in 2022, as the Government ramps up support for the sector.
Honourable Alexis Jeffers, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Marine Resources, said that enhanced production and productivity are important so that the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis can realize its objectives of achieving food security, reducing food importation, and ensuring that locally available food is wholesome and of high quality.
During his contribution to the Budget Debate for the fiscal year 2022, Minister Jeffers highlighted the overall vision.
“Our aim in agriculture is to ensure that we are exerting the efforts that are needed to enhance and transform the agriculture and fisheries sector – even while doing so, keeping in mind the challenges with climate change, our growing population, the rise in food prices, disruptions in supply chains and environmental stressors which all have a significant impact on food security,” the Minister said on December 15, 2021, while presenting in the National Assembly.
Honourable Jeffers added that ongoing training opportunities and investment in the sector strategically target the promotion of sustainable agriculture technologies and methodologies that build resistance to domestic and foreign shocks and ensure production increases in crop, livestock, fisheries and agro-processing.
The public sector investments resulted in an increase in yield in the crops sub-sector as of August with positive outturns in cabbage, cantaloupe, carrot, onion, pineapple, sweet potato, watermelon and yam cultivation. Fish landings between the period January to October 2021 also showed positive results. Figures show that 618,890 pounds were caught during the period at a value of $6.9 million.
The Minister said that the sector is on the right track as the Federation seeks to strengthen food security.