(Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 24th 2023);
In an effort to help sustain farmers’ livelihoods and improve their access to essential feed supply and agricultural inputs, the Department of Agriculture is embarking on a storage shed expansion project in LaGuerite, St. Kitts.
In a brief interview with the Media and Communication in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine Resources and Cooperatives, Jeanelle Kelly, Acting Director at the Department of Agriculture provided an update on the ongoing expansion project and explained how the availability of feed was affected.
She said, “We would have recognized that feed has become an issue in terms of the frequency and consistency and what we would have learned is that the storage would have been short. So what we have undertaken to do where the feed is currently stored here at the department at shed one, we are going to be expanding the storage facility. So normally where we have the feed located it’s going to go right up to the back and we anticipate and estimate that it could cater for another one and a half to approximately two containers of feed.”
Acting Director Kelly explained that an additional two containers worth of feed would also help the government of St. Kitts and Nevis to resolve the shortage of animal feed, agricultural inputs and chemical that had been affecting farmers in recent times.
“This will greatly help as it relates to shortages that are experienced at some point in time and will be able to assist our farmers in getting the necessary inputs they need to service their animals to feed them and get them the appropriate nutrition that they need”, Ms. Kelly noted.
She also used the opportunity to reveal that the storage expansion allowed for the refurbishment of wooden structures and repairs to the roof of the building to help protect the feed and inputs.
Kelly said, “Now with this expansion, we’re also going to do some repair work to the roof area that services this particular area where the feed is stored, so you would notice we would have replaced some of the galvanize to ensure that the feed does not get wet and also we’re going to readjust the system. So in terms of where you access to get to the officers to get inputs, i.e chemicals and seeds that will still be in place that we’ve just rearranged now to accommodate for this expansion”.
In addition, the Department through the Ministry of Agriculture invested in the procurement of a brand new forklift to assist in a more efficient offloading process to reduce the time it takes for farmers to receive their bags of feed and farm supplies.
The Department is expected to officially roll out several plans for expansion, along with measures to further develop the agricultural sector and boost food security over the next few months.