The St. Kitts Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce participated in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Marine Resources Annual Review and Agenda 2021 held on February 4, 2021, at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.
The objective of the meeting was to bring together officials of the Ministry along with representatives of allied agencies, whose work impacts in the Federation, including CARDI, IICA, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Taiwanese Mission and the Chamber of Commerce to review the work of the Ministry and make recommendations for the development of a Work Plan which will guide the work of the Ministry and the Agricultural Sector.
The President was invited to give remarks under theme of the meeting: “Together, We Invest, Transform and Build Partnerships for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security”.
In her remarks, the President emphasized the close working relationship between the Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry over the years to help ensure that products are made available at the right time, quality, quantity, and at an affordable price to consumers. Members of the Chamber continue to provide essential market outlets for farmers and fisherfolks and the agro-processors in the Federation through the supermarkets, hotels, and restaurants. She emphasized the vital role played by these institutions in that regard. The Chamber has provided technical and administrative advice to the Ministry and will continue to support the development the Ministry’s Work Plan.
The President noted the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on the Tourism Sector, in particular the Hotels. This has resulted in the termination of their purchases from March last year when the hotels were closed.
She applauded the Government for injecting the $10Million into the Agriculture (including Livestock and Fisheries) last year to help boost the sector which was severely impacted by Covid-19. She stated that the funds had been spent to help stimulate the sector by providing direct support and subsidizing production by facilitating land preparation, purchasing inputs such as seeds, pesticides, fertilizers, Feed for Livestock, fencing material, twine, rope, wire, fishing hooks. The farming and fisheries community had responded positively, and we are seeing the results with the increase in production of some crops, livestock, and fisheries products.
Also addressing the gathering was the Hon. Prime Minister and the Hon. Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources.
The Chamber was also represented by the Executive Director – Mr. Andrew Satney.