Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 22, 2022 (SKNIS): The agriculture sector in St. Kitts and Nevis is poised for further growth and strengthening with innovation being at the core of the ministry’s development and reform agenda.
This was according to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Ron Dublin Collins at the Annual Review Planning Meeting held on Tuesday, February 22, 2022, at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort under the theme, “Innovation and Sustainability: A New Strategy for Agriculture in St. Kitts and Nevis.”
“Agriculture is set and poised for takeoff. Clearance has been obtained and we are buckled in for a flight. The weather might be choppy, but fly, we will. The flight will cross hills and mountains, valleys and plains and will circle the beautiful terrain of our land of beauty and in flight, we will exchange ideas, explore new opportunities for the development of our sector. We are taxiing down the runway and we are moving to advance the sector,” said PS Collins. “We must embrace at this juncture more innovative ways for the enhancement of the sector. Advancement in agriculture technology is before us as we take off and it will be with us in part of our flight,” he added.
Reflecting on the successes of 2020, PS Collins noted that excellent growth and development in agricultural production were registered. He added that a lot will be done in 2022 to further grow the sector.
“Efforts are being made now to expand our basket of agricultural products and promote market access and value-added products. This is an opportunity to accelerate transformation in the food and agriculture sector to build resilience in the face of a range of challenges,” said the permanent secretary. “Looking ahead, looking through the clouds, we are working to enhance the resilience, sustainability and productivity of the agricultural sector.”
PS Collins said that the Ministry of Agriculture is focused on shaping more resilient food systems, especially in the context of COVID-19.
“The ministry is ensuring that the food system is more sustainable and resilient and that it becomes an urgent priority. The COVID-19 Pandemic provides an opportunity to learn and we have learnt the lesson well about choke points and vulnerabilities in our system in order to identify [needed] investments and reforms that will further strengthen resilience of the sector to a range of future shocks and challenges,” he said.
Mr. Collins described the Annual Review Planning Meeting as extremely important, adding that “it is critical that we engage stakeholders in the process of understanding the way forward for the sector.” He added that it is “particularly important to examine the current resilience toolkit in our food system with a view of identifying our policy measures and ensure the effectiveness, as well as what new measures will be needed to respond to system-wide shocks.”