NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (October 20, 2021) – – His Excellency Michael Lin, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to St. Kitts and Nevis, has expressed excitement at the level of cultivation underway at the Nevis Island Administration (NIA)-operated farm at Indian Castle Estate.
The Ambassador and his team toured the farm on Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at the invitation of Deputy Premier Hon. Alexis Jeffers, NIA Minister of Agriculture.
“It is my first time visiting Indian Castle Estate. To me it is really a surprise and I am very impressed with what’s going on here. I believe that investment today will bear fruit to the future generation and I believe that for my next visit here we will see much more progress and it would definitely be a very good investment for the sustainable development of agriculture and food security for the Nevisian people.
“We encourage all Nevisians to come to see what’s going on here and learn from the model here and to build up your own small gardens in your back yards that would improve food security in Nevis and the wider Federation,” H.E. Lin said.
Hon. Jeffers thanked the Ambassador, the Taiwanese Embassy, and the Government and people of (ROC) Taiwan for the longstanding partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Nevis Island Administration that has served to benefit all of Nevis. He noted the continued support including technical expertise, training and tangible contributions to the development of the sector on the island.
The Minister also registered his satisfaction with the plant out of the 35-acre estate after a few short months of operation. He said the government is pleased that the dormant lands are being used to provide sustainability in agriculture on Nevis.
“I myself am blown away every time I come here by what I’m seeing at Indian Castle. It is a long-term project and it’s one that we believe is important for sustainability and food security in the future and that is why we have invested heavily here.
“Many Nevisians have come and seen and been immensely proud of our effort here. We have quite an array of plants that we have invested in here and it is a vast area that we have placed under production, many different crops and many different varieties. I’m certain that when all is said and done this will be a beautiful tract of land. So all of these plants, once they start blooming and growing, it will be a wonderful sight to behold,” he remarked.
The NIA has invested over $150,000 in the production of fruit crops at the estate and more than 3000 trees have already been planted. These include 230 avocado trees, 100 dragon fruits, 400 guava trees, 45 mango trees, ¾ acre of banana, 300 sugar apple trees, one acre of onions, 1700 Malaysian dwarf coconut trees, 220 citrus plants, and 190 soursop trees.
Hon. Jeffers praised the efforts of his team at the Ministry and Department of Agriculture and those of Mr. Ronald “Bankie” King, supervisor of the Estate and his team in bringing the farm to fruition. He announced the Ministry’s plan to begin cultivation of a nearby tract of land of more that 30 acres to simulate the Indian Castle Estate Farm.