Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 18, 2013 (SKNIS): A delegation from the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives was updated on ongoing developments at Kittitian Hill as the Federation’s first sustainable resort project prepares to open the doors in November 2013.
On Tuesday (July 16) a 16 member team headed by Minister of Agriculture Honourable Nigel Carty toured sections of the 40 acre development including an 84 cottage Five Star boutique hotel called Belle Mont Farm as well as the Nursery which is divided into two areas and features a green house.
Founder of Kittitian Hill, Val Kempadoo, said he was pleased to host the public sector officials and to highlight the wide variety of tropical, rare tropical plants and fruits that are currently growing on site.
“We have over 80 different types of mangoes, 15 different types of avocados,” he revealed.
Other varieties of fruit featured are miracle fruit, Surinam cherry, muscadine grape, pineapples, bananas, dragon fruit, olives, almond, breadfruit, breadnut and many more.
“We have a very large collection that we have assembled over time here and that collection is world class.”
This fits into the vision of designers to have an edible landscape where organic fruits and vegetables abound, ready to be picked by guests.
“When I took the tour I was able to see that in fact there was a significant amount of effort being put into making sure that Kittitian Hill reflects an integration between tourism and agriculture,” Minister Carty stated. “… Kittitian Hill is not going to be able to produce all that it needs to feed the thousands of tourists that will come through here. What we need is that close link with (local) farmers to ensure that they produce the right kind of stuff in the right kind of way so that their produce can be acceptable to the Kittitian Hill experience.”
The minister urged local farmers, fishermen and craft producers to band together to meet the demands of the multimillion dollar resort when it opens in a few months.
Mr. Kempadoo echoed similar sentiments and stressed that local production has benefitted from an infusion of new varieties and methods from Kittitian Hill.
“What excites us so much is the ability to select some of these plants and propagate them for the farmers in the local communities so they can have better planting stocks.”
Ultimately, Kittitian Hill represents a new model for tourism not just in St, Kitts and Nevis, but also for the Caribbean.
“I believe that a different type of tourism is possible,” Mr. Kempadoo stressed. “I believe we can have tourism that is not corrosive or [negatively] impactful on the social fabric of the country, but positively contributes to the social, physical and economic environment.”
The opening of Belle Mont Farm will represent the completion of the first phase of Kittitian Hill. Opening at that time as well will be the 18-hole Ian Woosnam designed championship golf course and the Golden Lemon Beach Bar. The second phase involves the completion of Mango Walk Spa and a Three Star Hotel dubbed the Village by the end of 2014. The historic Golden Lemon Hotel in Dieppe Bay will also be re-opened under the umbrella of Kittitian Hill. A third phase which features the construction of another Five Star Hotel called Cedar Grove is expected to come on stream in a few years.