Honouring Farmer of Year in Nevis on March 31, 2019, r-l: Director of Agriculture Mr Randy Elliott, awardee Mr Sais Persaud, Chief Extension Officer Mr Walcott James, Permanent Secretary Mr. Huey Sargeant, and Minister of Agriculture the Hon Alexis Jeffers.Photo :
CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS, October 14, 2020 (DBSKN) — Nevis’ 2019 Farmer of the Year, 40-year old Mr. Sais Persaud is fondly referred to as the ‘Melon King’ or the ‘Cane Juice Man’, not only by the staff at the Department of Agriculture in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), but also by his partners and admirers at the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis (DBSKN).
“As we in Nevis, the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and indeed the entire world celebrate week-long activities leading to World Food Day 2020 that will be observed on Friday, October 16, we at the Nevis branch of the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis salute Mr Sais Persaud for the role he is playing in securing food security for the Federation,” said Closing/Compliance Officer at the Nevis branch of the Development Bank.
Melon King, Mr. Sais Persaud, who has for nearly ten years been working as a farmer in Brown Hill in the St. John’s Parish of Nevis under the family unit umbrella, the Persaud’s Family Farm, is an ambitious farmer who attributes his success to support and encouragement he has received from the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“I do farming in Brown Hill, and started about ten years ago on a leased half an acre of land and at that time I had no finance – nothing to start agriculture,” recalled Mr. Persaud. “So I went to Development Bank and I explained my situation to them. I made an application for some cash and they responded positively in about three weeks’ time, which I think was good.”
He has expanded his farming business over the years and today is working on some nine acres of land, and has gone back to the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis five times where he always comes out a satisfied man. He uses drip irrigation to grow, among others, watermelon, banana, plantains, passion fruit, season pepper, okra, papaya, lettuce, and sugarcane.
“Over the years, I have been working with the Development Bank, and they have been working with me,” noted Mr. Persaud. “I think I am at the right age to develop myself, and Development Bank is there willing enough to help me achieve my goals. I was able to fence off the farm and buy a drip irrigation system through financing by the bank.”
Through an additional loan from the Development Bank, Mr. Persaud was able to purchase a juice making machine with which he processes sugarcane to add value to the product. His wife Mrs Soma Persaud is the Marketing Manager, and with her assistance, he is now looking at processing plantains and bananas to add value to them. He noted: “I think I am on the right track and with the Development Bank by my side, I think I could make it.”
In the meantime, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture in the Nevis Island Administration, Mr. Huey Sargeant, described Mr Sais Persaud as one of the more prolific and innovative farmers on the island of Nevis. When the Department of Agriculture on Nevis celebrated the 25th anniversary of its Agriculture Open Day last year, Mr. Persaud was recognised as ‘Farmer of the Year’.
“He is an inspiration for everyone in the sector for his especially hard and smart work attitude,” observed Mr. Sargeant. “We are always happy to support Mr. Persaud in his activities and initiatives as we are confident about his attitude and proven track record. He is always ready to assist and teach persons about his operations and is more than accommodating to the Department of Agriculture. We are also encouraged by his social and community spirit.”