BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, December 15, 2023 (SKNIS) – Attaining food security is one of the key pillars of the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis’ Sustainable Island State Agenda. In this regard, the Ministry of Agriculture has embarked on several ambitious and innovative projects aimed at reducing the Federation’s large food import bill by assisting local farmers to significantly increase production.
One such measure that holds great potential in achieving this goal is the establishment of Greenhouse Villages across St. Kitts and Nevis. Work on the first such village in the Brothersons Estate region near Newton Ground is already underway.
“We have ordered the greenhouses, they have landed on the island, we are in the process of clearing out and mapping the land and building them out to [specifications], because we have to take careful consideration in the management of these villages,” said Minister of Agriculture the Honourable Samal Duggins during his contribution to the 2024 Budget Debate on Thursday, December 14, 2023.
The first phase of the Greenhouse Village entails the construction of 15 state-of-the-art greenhouses that will specialize in the mass production of what the ministry has determined as priority crops. These include peppers, tomatoes, leafy greens, broccoli and cucumbers.
In addition to providing greenhouses to farmers at a fraction cost as part of the Greenhouse Village initiative, Minister Duggins said the Ministry of Agriculture will also undertake a project to revitalize a number of greenhouses around the island that are in different stages of dilapidation.
“Our tally suggests that by the end of 2024, we should have over one hundred active greenhouses in the Federation and of course, that includes those over in Nevis as well,” Minister Duggins said.
The honourable minister shared that the Federation’s food import bill stands at a worrying figure of nearly $200 million. He said they aim to ensure that a significant portion of this figure can instead go directly to local producers and farmers.