Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 16, 2022 (SKNIS): As the Government works towards making St. Kitts and Nevis a sustainable island state, Minister of Agriculture the Hon. Samal Duggins during his Budget 2023 presentation outlined the Ministry of Agriculture’s plans to guarantee food security in the Federation.
“We do have an approach that directly addresses food security and lowering our prices amidst all the challenges we are facing globally because we cannot ignore the fact that many of the challenges are beyond our control, but if we frame things properly and we put things into the right perspective and drive the production cost down while the output up we recognize that we can somehow balance and sustain ourselves and that is what we talk about when we say transformation towards a sustainable island state. As it relates to fisheries, we recognize that the money that we have budgeted is going to be put to excellent use where we can see those costs in supermarkets in St. Kitts and Nevis going down irrespective of what is happening globally,” said Minister Duggins.
The Ministry of Agriculture is actively working to reduce the Federation’s annual food import bill by a whopping $35 million annually. Minister Duggins further stated that the Ministry will be making more resources available to fisherfolk in an effort to boost production.
“I want to also assure our fisher folk that we have not neglected them in regards to training and so these projects will also assist in constant and improved training of our fisher folk. And, it will also allow us to increase the number of fads that we place out in our waters. To provide more grounds for our fisher folk to fish because with the fads placed in our waters our people have become accustomed to the Mahi – Mahi and Tuna, the richest variety. But to catch more of those, we need to go further out, and we need more fads. And that is why we are making this investment in more fads for our fisherfolk so they have more grounds to fish and bigger hauls to sell and of course more monies in their pockets,” said Minister Duggins.
Agriculture has been earmarked in the 2023 Budget by the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of St. Kitts and Nevis the Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew as one of the critical pillars for national development and transforming St. Kitts and Nevis into a sustainable small island state.