Pineapple and Melons Grown In St. Kitts – Nevis
Photo By Erasmus Williams
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
October 10, 2009 (CUOPM)
Despite adverse weather conditions last year, St. Kitts and Nevis is reporting significant increases in some food crops.
Speaking at a one-day seminar under the theme “Strengthening the Tourism Sector through the development of Linkages with the Agricultural Sector of the Caribbean,” Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Cedric Liburd reiterated government’s policy to secure food for self- sufficiency and work towards sustainable development throughout the year.
He told participants there was a 115 percent increase in carrot production with 378,400 pounds in 2008 compared to 176,000 pounds in 2007. Onions increased from 48,400 pound in 2007 to 112,200 pounds in 2008, up 131 percent.
White potato production jumped 190 percent in 2008, with farmers producing 525,800 pounds compared to 277,200 pounds in 2007. Pineapple production moved from 132,000 pounds in 2007 to 251,800 pounds in 2008, up 16 percent, Yam production moved up from 33,000 pounds in 2007 to 39,600 pounds in 2008, up 20 percent, while sweet potato production moved slightly from 423,940 pounds in 2007 to 433,400 pounds in 2008.
The passage of Hurricane Omar in the third quarter and flooding in the last quarter of 2008 adversely affected vegetable production resulting in a decrease in the production of cabbage, (24 percent), sweet pepper (15 percent); tomato (17 percent); peanut (50 percent) and watermelon, 36 percent).
The increase in production could be attributed to improved agronomic practices, thus resulting in increased yield and farmers cultivating large acreages as a result of some of the former sugar lands being made available for crop production.
Beef production during 2008 increased by 19.5 percent from 190,000 pounds in 2007 to 237,000 pounds in 2008.
The rise in production was due mainly by increased purchases by supermarkets where local beef was available at a competitive price and the efforts to remove the animals from the South East Peninsula.