Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): In an effort to further strengthen the agriculture sector and ensure that farmers receive the necessary training needed to improve their business skills and capacities and boost productivity, the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis is looking to establish an agricultural training school.
This was according to the Minister of Agriculture, Cooperatives, Fisheries and Marine Resources, the Honourable Samal Duggins, during the Prime Minister’s Press Conference with Cabinet Ministers on Thursday, March 30, 2023, at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Conference Room.
“I am in discussion for the development of an Agricultural Training School that will be on the island with the support as well of the University of the West Indies. They will be assisting with training our farmers, processors and interested persons in agriculture in both crop management, post-harvest management and the wide range of agricultural input,” said Minister Duggins.
Minister Duggins said that the school will be beneficial to St. Kitts and Nevis especially as the Federation works towards reducing the Region’s large food import bill by 25 percent by the year 2025.
“I believe that the training school will go a long way and once we put all efforts together, we can see our country, maybe even exceeding that 25 by 25 Agenda because easily we have seen 80 plus percent and identifying how we can curb that somewhat. That does not include improving output from improving the input,” said the agriculture minister. “So, if we improve agricultural input by planting more food, our greenhouse project that we want to improve, that is additional to managing that 80 percent loss. And so, I believe that the prospects for the 25 by 25 Agenda are real, and we are working assiduously towards that.”
According to www.caricom.org, the implementation of the CARICOM Agri-Food Systems Strategy in its Member States is expected to help achieve the 25 by 25 target by giving special attention to priority crops and products such as poultry, corn, soya, meat (goat, sheep, beef), rice and niche vegetables which are highly imported products in the region.