NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (April 19, 2021) — The Ministry of Tourism in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) launched its Nevis Garden Competition on April 16, 2021, at the Nevisian Heritage Village in Gingerland, as part of activities for Exposition Nevis 2021, an annual tourism awareness campaign with the theme “Fostering Domestic Tourism.”
Mr. John Hanley, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism who officially launched the contest, noted that the competition was being held in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, adding that gardens are important for the island’s tourism and food security thrust.
“Our gardens form an important part of Nevis’ tourism product. Gardens adorn our homes, our villas, hotels, restaurants and businesses; provide us with aromatic teas and medicinal plants; and our back yard gardens are a critical component of our thrust towards food security. For this reason, we have included the garden competition as part of our 2021 Exposition Nevis calendar of activities,” he said.
Mr. Hanley urged persons to enter the contest to assist with the island’s beautification and the NIA’s food security agenda.
“I urge all gardening enthusiasts on the island of Nevis to participate so that you could position yourselves not only to beautify your surroundings but also improve our island’s food security agenda, and at the same time win some very attractive prizes which have been made possible by our very kind cooperate, sponsors,” he said.
The permanent secretary acknowledged that the launch of the contest was being held at one of the best-landscaped tourism sites managed by the Ministry of Tourism.
He said that it had been gaining traction in recent months as a mecca for weddings, celebration of birthdays, anniversaries, and other family milestones; and thanked all those responsible for the upkeep of the Nevisian Heritage Village.
Mr. Hanley also used the opportunity to thank Ms. Vanessa Webbe, Tourism Education Officer, and the Community Tourism team leader for the hard work they did in organising the contest.
He also thanked the Department and Ministry of Agriculture for the guidance extended to the Ministry of Tourism and their assistance with the logistics required to plan and execute the competition.
Mr. Huey Sargeant, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture stated that they were pleased to partner with the Ministry of Tourism. He announced measures the Department of Agriculture plans to put in place for persons wishing to participate in the contest.
“We are offering during the month of May some specials from our shade house or greenhouse and our Propagation Unit at Prospect for persons who are interested in participating in this competition, that they can have their seedlings or plants at special rates from the Department of Agriculture,” he said.
The contest has two segments – one for food-bearing plants and florals. The Agriculture Permanent Secretary spoke of the benefits of gardening.
“When you garden you ensure food security and we encourage that. We also recognise that the floral aspect is part of our health as well because that emotional part of our being…they are quite important overall.
“So we have health on the physical side when we do food security and we have health on the emotional side because obviously, we want to have that mental health…I must also talk about the physical aspects of gardening. You do get a lot of exercises when you tend to your gardens on a regular basis, so we have an overall holistic development and, in that vein, I encourage as many persons to participate and register to take part in this competition,” he said.