Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 19, 2013 (SKNIS): The Agro-Tourism Demonstration Farm at Sir Gilles – a joint initiative between St. Kitts and Nevis and the Republic of China (Taiwan) – has been hailed by Taiwanese President His Excellency Ma Ying-jeou as a symbol of the fruitful and flourishing relationship between the two countries.
President Ma expressed those sentiments on Sunday while at the facility which marries tourism, agriculture and renewable energy.
“Our two countries both have sugar cane, tropical trees and medicinal herbs,” he said through an interpreter. “And if we can promote the research and tourism values of all these assets, I believe our two countries can work together to promote cultural and tourist values that will attract more tourists.”
The 20-acre cooperation project is designed to enhance agricultural development through production, processing and tourism business management.
“Recently in Taiwan, tourist farms have become very popular because people cannot only watch the process of agriculture but they can also bring about tourist value,” President Ma stressed.
Honourable Richard Skerritt, who holds the ministerial responsibility for tourism and commerce in St. Kitts and Nevis, told the visiting delegation from Taiwan that the agro-tourism farm “is very important to the future development of [the] country.”
“This project is a good thing,” he stated, noting that at more than 14,000 sq ft., the green house is the largest of its kind in the Eastern Caribbean. “It is an important investment which we can justly share pride in your visit today knowing that the progress has been good and that it won’t be long before it is completed.”
Prime Minister the Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas noted that the farm demonstrates the commitment of his government to transform the national economy, increase the synergistic relationship between diversified agriculture and tourism as well as to reduce the dependence on fossil fuel energy by incorporating renewable energy systems to power aspects of the facility.
The Prime Minister added that the cooperation project also demonstrates the firm commitment by both governments to enhance the lives of ordinary citizens in St. Kitts and Nevis. Prime Minister Douglas thanked President Ma and his government for the strong bonds of friendship that have bound St. Kitts and Nevis and the Republic of China (Taiwan) for the past 29 years.
President Ma is in St. Kitts and Nevis for a two-day state visit. He departs the Federation on Monday.
The Agro-Tourism Demonstration Farm is expected to be completed in December 2014.