Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 09, 2013 (SKNIS): The handing over ceremony of the Agro-processing Unit and Demonstration Farm at Needsmust, signifies the harvest of more than 30 years of cooperation between St. Kitts and Nevis and the Republic of China (Taiwan).
In his remarks on (December 03) Resident Ambassador to the Republic of China (Taiwan), Miguel Tsao expressed his appreciation to the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and disclosed that the R.O.C dispatched the first agricultural technician to St. Kitts and Nevis in 1982, just one year short of establishing diplomatic ties.
“The farm laid a solid foundation for our current agricultural cooperation,” he said. “It is a testament that agricultural cooperation is a pilot project and the rock solid basis for the other programs between the two countries.”
Ambassador Tsao stressed that new farming techniques have been transferred to local farmers and outlined the products produced.
“In terms of the Agro-Processing unit, we have more than 20 different categories of products,” he said. “Products such juices, jams, yogurt, dried fruits and chips are being sold to the local supermarkets, hotels, restaurants and duty free zones on Port Zante.”
He mentioned that the farm provides students and visitors with the great opportunity of learning the importance of agriculture.
Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Asim Martin boasted that the benefits and possibilities of Agro-processing are vast and stressed the advantages for the tourism industry.
“There is a direct tie in with the tourism sector,” he explained. “When visitors come to our shores, the very thought of a natural, cooling and tropical drink becomes highly appealing.”
Minister Martin stated that this is a significant turn of events, as the Agro-processing Unit is serving many objectives.
“It is encouraging and facilitating a certain dynamism and outward movement within the agriculture sector,” he declared. “It is also encouraging the spirit of entrepreneurship.”
The Deputy Prime Minister said the Agro-processing Unit has yielded positive results that an energized Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) is looking forward to and extended thanks to MOA and the Embassy of Taiwan for the sterling example of constructive collaboration, skills and knowledge transfer.
The Agro-processing unit was founded in 2006 and has empowered many local employees and entrepreneurs.