Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 17, 2018 (SKNIS): Food security in St. Kitts and Nevis remains at the forefront of the Team Unity Administration’s agenda as the Ministry of Agriculture continues to provide farmers with the necessary tools and information to expand their production with the goal of ultimately reducing the Federation’s import bill.
While giving his address in support of The Appropriation (2019) Bill, 2018, on December 17, Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, said that the government in recognizing the effects of climate change has installed meteorological equipment throughout the Federation that will gather data and provide relevant information for farmers.
“This is a project in which we have embarked on this year so that every farmer could benefit from the collective information that is gathered from this project. We expect, Mr. Speaker, that as a result of this information gathering, farmers will be better informed and that the productivity level could be more sustainable,” he said.
There are currently three machines in St. Kitts, and one in Nevis.
The minister noted that it is an early warning system that will give the farmers the data in advance that will help them to know where and when to plant. He added that while the MET office provides some of this data, it is not sufficient to advise the farmers.
Minister Hamilton highlighted that the government is not only providing information, but recently provided grants to registered local farmers to assist them with their crop development.
“It was only a week ago that 250 farmers and fishers received a grant from the government. The lowest was EC$2000.00 and the highest EC$7000.00,” he said, and added that in total, one million dollars was paid out to the farmers and fishers.
Minister Hamilton said that this was done to help farmers so that they can grow their crops so that “we can be fed locally and grow more to reduce our import bill.”