NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (August 05, 2020) — Mr. Ron Dublin-Collins, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture in St. Kitts, is describing a visit to the agricultural sector on Nevis as an eye-opener.
The permanent secretary was in Nevis on July 28, 2020, at the invitation of Hon. Alexis Jeffers, Minister of Agriculture in the Nevis island Administration (NIA), who also holds the portfolio as Minister of Agriculture in the Federal Government, to see agriculture at work, and to forge a greater partnership in the sector moving forward.
“Today’s visit has been most informative. The insight has been deep, and I am highly inspired.
“I think that we have been able to see agriculture at its best in Nevis, and to see how Nevis has been able to deal with a number of the challenges and we can have that sharing of experiences on both islands, and the closer collaboration to ensure that we achieve the mandate that is given to our Federal minister for both islands,” he said.
Mr. Collins gave the assurance that the colleague ministries are dedicated to improving the agriculture sector in St. Kitts and in Nevis.
“We are committed as a team to improving the agriculture sector in our Federation, transforming and ensuring that we provide you the best possible service to all our stakeholders and increasing the level of partnership with all our regional and international partners,” he said.
Mr. Jeffers–who accompanied Mr. Collins and Mr. Huey Sargeant, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture on Nevis, and other officials in the Department of Agriculture on the tour–described the exercise as an essential one.
“Another important reason for this tour this morning is to give you also a sense as to what we need to do together. We have seen this from the get go as our collaborative effort and think St. Kitts and Nevis can work together to carry out the mandate of the Federal Government and also the Nevis Island administration as we work together to build agriculture in the Federation.
“We have in the past worked unilaterally, in Nevis on its own, St. Kitts on its own but we have seen a new thrust in recent times with the portfolio that has been given to me to bring both islands together and see if we can work together to ensure that at the end of five years at least we can present to the Federation what we have accomplished based on the road map that we have set out from the get go,” he said.
Mr. Jeffers expressed hope that they could build on the foundation that is already in place in agriculture on both islands.
“It is my hope that we can build on what we have done here in Nevis, and what we have done in St. Kitts. I have said that over the next five years, there are areas in this sector that we can point to in five years time that we can work together to bring about a change or improve upon…
“What we are trying to accomplish is to make sure that we are doing the right things and working well with our stakeholders who are our farmers, and ensuring that they have what it takes to buy into what we are trying to accomplish over the next couple of years. So, the trip here this morning was a useful one,” he said.