Locally Grown Produce On Display
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
June 09, 2011 (SKNIS)
Government’s commitment to assist local farmers and revitalize the agricultural sector was demonstrated on Wednesday as it tapped the expertise of the Competitiveness Council to make recommendations on ways to boost domestic production.
Senior Minister and Minister of Agriculture Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris and support staff took several Council members, headed by Chairman Charles Wilkin Q.C., on a tour of several farms including the Taiwanese Technical Mission and Agro Processing Plant, Patrick Borrough’s Floriculture, Valerie Connor’s Pig Farm as well as Spring Field Egg Farm.
Senior Minister Harris noted that the visits were planned to expose members on the realities faced by crop and livestock farmers.
“We want the members of the Council to experience agriculture on the ground and then to help us make the case for the repositioning of agriculture,” he emphasized. “So when we speak of some of the limitations; the access to water, the inadequacies of some of the roads leading to farms (particularly in the mountains); they themselves (the Council) have now experienced it and they therefore understand the imperative of taking the farm into modernization “¦ and what will be required in terms of inputs.”
The Senior Minister reinforced the information gathered throughout the day by making a presentation to the group on the role of Agriculture in National Development.
Chairman Wilkin told SKNIS that he was impressed with local operations at the livestock, poultry and crop farms. He highlighted points that he came away with from the tour.
“One of the things we particularly want to look at [and] will have to discuss very carefully is what role there is for greater involvement of the private sector, particularly the larger companies in the agricultural sector,” he explained. “That has been identified and clearly is an area of growth that we must focus on more than we have done in the past.”
Mr. Wilkin added that Government’s regulatory structure relating to incentives and land use in the context of agriculture will also be carefully reviewed.
The St. Kitts and Nevis National Competitiveness Council was established in December 2009. It comprises public and private sector officials who provide policy advice and recommendations to the Prime Minister with a view to enhance the competitiveness of St. Kitts and Nevis by strengthen the economic climate and legal framework.