2024 Review and Planning Meeting Sets Stage for The Development of a Sustainable Agriculture Sector in St. Kitts And Nevis

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts  (SKNIS) – The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Marine Resources, with input from its key stakeholders and partners, charted a clear path towards the buildout of a sustainable agricultural sector in St. Kitts and Nevis, through innovation and partnerships.

This was laid out during the ministry’s Annual Review and Planning Meeting 2024, held at the Department of Agriculture’s Conference Room today, Tuesday, February 27, 2024. This year’s review and planning meeting was held under the theme, “Securing our Future for Sustainable Agriculture through Partnerships by 2025, and Beyond”.

The event saw comprehensive reviews of the ministry’s achievements and initiatives throughout the year 2023, underscored by the crucial steps taken to advance the 25 by 2025 Agenda—a bold initiative that seeks to significantly reduce the Federation’s food import bill by 25 per cent by the year 2025.

Delivering remarks at the opening ceremony, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Marine Resources, Miguel Flemming stated that Tuesday’s exercise was important, as it provided a valuable opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments, assess challenges and chart a course for development in this vital sector.

“As we stand at the threshold of a new era, characterized by evolving environmental, economic and social dynamics, the importance of strategic collaboration and forward-thinking approaches cannot be overstated. The theme of this year’s meeting underscores the fundamental principle that the journey towards sustainable agriculture is one that must be undertaken collectively,” Permanent Secretary Flemming stated, highlighting that the annual event was attended by a wide cross-section of stakeholders from both the private and public sectors.

Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture, Honourable Samal Duggins, commented that the development of a sustainable agriculture sector hinges upon the Federation’s ability to adopt new and innovative practices and embracing technological advancements.

Minister of Agriculture, Honourable Samal Duggins

“By investing in research, innovation and capacity-building initiatives, we can enhance the productivity and competitiveness of our livestock sector while safeguarding the health and well-being of our livestock population,” Minister Duggins said.

With regards to the fisheries sector, the honourable minister said it is imperative that stakeholders embrace sustainable management practices that balance the conservation of marine resources with the socio-economic needs of the fishing community. He said, “Through the implementation of science-based fisheries management strategies, the promotion of responsible fishing practices and the establishment of marine protected areas we can ensure the long-term viability of our fisheries sector and preserve our marine ecosystems for our future generations.”

Minister Duggins said this approach also holds true for improving crop production in St. Kitts and Nevis. He contended that farmers must harness the power of innovation and technology “to enhance agricultural productivity”, noting that “we must also improve resilience to climate change and promote food security as well as nutrition security.”

During the presentations and deliberations, a number of partner agencies and institutions reaffirmed their commitment to continue their partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Marine Resources going forward.

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