Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 5, 2021 (SKNIS): The Ministry of Agriculture launched the Peace Initiative Agricultural Programme on March 4, 2021, in the Conference Room at the Department of Agriculture in Laguerite.
Speaking to the attendees at the ceremony, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Marine Resources, Honourable Alexis Jeffers, said that “This initiative is one that we would have worked on as a ministry and as a department with the hope of ensuring that we are putting you front and center with the development of the sector.”
“The future of agriculture starts with all of us inside here today and we have been preaching so many things about agriculture over the last nine months and we have had some deficiencies over the years, but COVID-19 as we have always been alluding to has taught us some lessons that we can learn from,” Minister Jeffers said.
“Agriculture has always been important, but some way along the line, the importance may have diminished to some extent and we have to rekindle that,” he said while adding that “You have been hearing that agriculture can be the mainstay of our economy. It has always proven that it can and should be the mainstay of our economy.”
“When I say you, all are the future of agriculture and the future of agriculture has to start with you moving forward, it also means that some of our elderly farmers are exiting the stage and someone will have to be there to carry on,” said the Minister of Agriculture. “I want you to be the group upon which we can rely on in this Federation to propel agriculture forward and to feed us for the future to come,” said Minister Jeffers.
He said that the Department of Agriculture is using new technology and focusing more on greenhouse technology.
“It is something that young people are gravitating to because, during the day when it is hot sun, you don’t want to be out there toiling in some regard but you can find yourself in some confined space where it is much more comfortable to work and that is why we will be focusing on greenhouse technology moving forward,” he said.
“Someone may have alluded to the fact that we want you to be individual farmers, and farmers who we can rely on individually, but I want to look at the collective aspect of it meaning that there are opportunities for us to band ourselves together and form as cooperatives where we can work together as teams and access the funds that are available to us,” he stated.
“Whether through allied agencies such as ECCA, FAO, or Republic of China (Taiwan) Technical Mission, all these institutions are there as resources and institutions that we can lean on for support and assistance. Through the Ministry and Department Agriculture, we have those connections, we have those alliances that we can to support you as farmers,” said Minister Jeffers.