Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 28, 2016 (SKNIS): St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, said that the Agricultural Sector can benefit for the implementation of Agricultural Science, as the Federation seeks to diversify the economy.
Prime Minister Harris expressed these sentiments during his address at the 2016 National Consultation on the Economy, which was held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort and Royal Beach Casino on September 28.
He said that: “the Government intends to take on board the recommendation of the IMF [International Monetary Fund] to invest in targeted transformative projects that will improve competitiveness, diversification and resilience of the economy. In doing so, we will review and prioritize our Public Sector Investment Programme to ensure effective execution and completion of the capital projects identified as essential for the transformation of the Federation.”
He said that the key growth sectors of the local economy were already identified, however, they would have to be strategically focused to assist in the growth and development of the Federation. The agricultural sector was highlighted.
“Agriculture has not yet fulfilled the expectations of our people in terms of our ability to deal with the challenge of food security, in terms of our ability to engage a significant number of young people,” Prime Minister Harris said. “Therefore it was inspiring in that regard to hear the Chamber (of Industry and Commerce) talk about: How do we engage in a more systematic way young people in the contest of agriculture? How do we bring technology, since technology is the key now to our advancement, to bear in the agricultural setting and to ensure by so doing we can bring more of our young people into agriculture? How come we boast of so many young people taking agriculture in secondary school, and even at the CFBC (Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College), and we see no transfer of that higher level of human capital to be engaged in the agricultural sector?”
Prime Minister Harris said that the Agriculture Ministry, after following the discussion at the consultation, would have to facilitate action toward making the connection between education and careers in agriculture. He said that there is need for a plan of action that should bring the sector to the level of performance that the country needs.