BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, February 26, 2021 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris has reiterated his Government’s support for the fisheries sector, noting that the sector can play a lead role in St. Kitts and Nevis’ economic recovery post COVID-19.
PrimeMinister Harris made those remarks when he addressed the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Marine Resources’ National Fishers Consultation held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort on Thursday, February 25.
“COVID-19 has taught us a lesson and as we look to the future post COVID-19 we are looking to agriculture, crops, livestock and marine resource development to help make our future stronger and safer,” Prime Minister Harris stated.
Thursday’s consultation was held under the theme, “Together, We Invest, Transform and Build Partnerships for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security.”
Theprime minister noted at the consultation that the past year has highlighted both the potential and resilience of the fisheries sector that can still be tapped into.
Hesaid, “We want to look to this sector to see how we can create more jobs for our young people in particular and to explore new opportunities. In his own remarks, Marc [Williams, Director of Marine Resources] spoke about the importance of aquaculture. We have had some tentative goings in that particular arena, and yet aquaculture is going to be one of the fastest growing areas of marine development in the world and so we will have to find a way of enticing more people to come and to invest profitably in the area of aquaculture in the future.”
Inthis regard, Prime Minister Harris assured the fisherfolks in St. Kitts and Nevis that his Team Unity administration stands with them and will continue to provide the necessary financial and technical support.
“We have put aside $15.8 million in 2021 for the agricultural sector. Of that amount, $4 million have been put aside for marine development in St. Kitts, and we have also in that Budget put aside some $3 million to continue some of the stimulus investments which had taken place before,” Dr. Harris added.
PrimeMinister Harris further indicated that his Government will also explore opportunities for public-private partnerships with local, regional, and international investors to utilise the country’s marine management method to increase food and commercial products, replenish stocks, and assist in the repopulation of species that may be under threat.