Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 30, 2018 (SKNIS): As the Ministry of Agriculture strives to ensure food security, Agricultural Weather Stations were launched at Needsmust, on November 30, to help forecast the ever-changing weather conditions for the benefit of farmers.
This project aims to help agricultural agencies link agricultural activity with meteorological data, providing farmers with early warnings of weather variations. As a result, farmers will also be able to immediately receive technical recommendations to adjust their cultivation models and reduce disaster damage.
“We all know that the climate is changing and the weather patterns are changing,” said the Honourable Tom Lee, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan), adding that St. Kitts and Nevis and Taiwan are island countries that are susceptible to extreme weather.
“So it is important for both countries to learn how to adapt to the extreme weather… Most countries with the ability to adapt will be the winners in the future. As Taiwan is a strong ally to St. Kitts and Nevis, we are very willing to share our experience in this area. We launched this project [SKN Enhancing Agricultural Adaptive Capacity to Climate Variability Project] last year with the [aim] to help St. Kitts and Nevis to enhance its agricultural adaptive capacities.”
According to the Ambassador, there will be three stations in St. Kitts and one in Nevis, which can transmit accurate agricultural meteorological data directly from the stations.
Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton stated that, because of the changing climate, it is important for St. Kitts and Nevis to formulate an adaptation programme. He added that the country urgently needs to pursue technical training, as well as research capacity building and professional consultation for such an adaptation programme.
“For information to flow smoothly from production to application, it is necessary to convert meteorological data into crop disaster prevention information and help farmers with disaster prevention through appropriate dissemination channels,” he said.
The type of data that will be gathered include temperature, humidity, rainfall, sunshine and soil moisture content in accordance with the meteorological needs of the agricultural industry.
“This is another step in building capacity so that farmers can produce with greater predictability, and our food security waste will be significantly reduced as a result,” said the minister.
Minister Hamilton stated that the project is expected to cover a period up to 2022 at a cost exceeding US $3million.
The minister expressed the gratitude of the Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis for the generosity of the government and people of Taiwan.
“There is no doubt, Mr. Ambassador, that your country, which has been our first diplomatic ally, is our most authentic and valuable ally and I can assure you that you can always count on our support in any local and international endeavour.”