(Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 19 2023);
As the government of St. Kitts and Nevis works assiduously to reduce food imports over the next two years, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine Resources and Cooperatives, in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is this week hosting a three-day St. Kitts National Sweet Pepper Value Chain Assessment workshop in the Large Conference Room of the Department of Agriculture, La Guerite, St. Kitts.
The main objective of the workshop, facilitated by Jefferson Jaikissoon, Agricultural Value Chain Development Specialist for the FAO is to identify and adopt a comprehensive market-driven approach as well as opportunities and constraints of the production of sweet pepper.
Major topics highlighted include; ‘Sweet Pepper Market’, ‘Determining Market Drivers’, ‘Market Opportunities and Challenges’, ‘Cost of Production and Competitiveness’, ‘Binding Constraints and Proposed Strategies’ and ‘Sustainability: Gender and Youth Inclusion’.
Farmers, technical staff and experts from various fields including public and private sector organizations, financial institutions and agricultural development partners were given the opportunity to listen to presentations delivered by Sharlene Prosser, Agricultural Value Chain Development Specialist, Omardath Maharaj, Agri-business and Finance Specialist, Jai Rampersaud, Trade Development Consultant, Melvin Medina, FAO Plant Protection Officer and Chrishane Williams-James, Communications Consultant.
With the aid of an interactive group review, virtual and power point presentation, the facilitators walked the participants through a draft value chain analysis and provided each group representative with the opportunity to present their findings.
The working sessions are expected to produce a draft of a preliminary national Upgrading Strategy and Action Plan that will then be validated and implemented over the next five years.