Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 05, 2013 (SKNIS): The potential for Agro-Processing is huge in St. Kitts and Nevis, thanks to the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
In a handing over ceremony of the Agro-Processing Unit and Demonstration Farm on (December 03), Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Cooperatives Ashton Stanley, welcomed the technical assistance and partnership with the R.O.C for the initial phases of the Agro-processing Unit and Demonstration Farm.
He stated that primary agriculture is no longer sufficient for providing sustainable and reliable livelihood options for farmers; therefore there was a need to introduce Agro-processing.
“The need to add value to alternative products as a source of alternative livelihood and income generation for efficient use of farm products is well established,” he said. “Agro-processing provides suitable compliment to traditional agricultural production and should therefore be promoted.”
Stanley stressed that for St. Kitts and Nevis, Agro-processing serves as an ideal solution to rainy season, induce glut and market production by adding value while maintaining nutritional content.
“The unit is now an avenue for extending and expanding consumer access top varied product choices for plantains, bananas, breadfruit, tamarind, mango and other seasonal fruits,” he stated. “With the operational pack house at La Gruite, the challenges of seasonality of fruits in particular will be reduced.”
Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Cooperative, Hon. Nigel Carty said that this event marked a milestone of one the many activities the ministry claims as a key success on their calendar of events for 2013.
“This handing over ceremony is a visible sign post on our journey to food and nutrition security as the outright and direct control of the two facilities,” he boasted. “The Ago-Processing and Demonstration Farm fits into our plan for increased sustainable agricultural and food protection.”
Minister Carty expressed thanks to the R.O.C resident Ambassador Miguel Tsao and his colleagues who worked with him on this venture.
“The R.O.C must be given due recognition, and today as in the very early years after our national Independence Taiwan has been our strongest national ally in our quest for agricultural development,” he said. “We say thanks to you Ambassador for your vision, assistance and support over the years.”
The establishment of the Needsmust demonstration Farm was one of the first collaborative projects for the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Republic of China (Taiwan).