Sustainable Agriculture, food safety and security have been the thrust of many modern agricultural projects and programs. However, the long-term cultivation of sugarcane farm land before 2005 and other geographical factors have resulted to low organic and mineral contents of the soil in St. Kitts and Nevis. Consequently, agricultural production and yields were adversely affected. Government through the ministry of Agriculture in conjunction with local and international agencies and institutions has initiated several projects to promote agricultural development in St. Kitts Nevis. Vegetable fruits and upland crops quality and safety improvement project (VFUCQSIP) is one of the most successful projects that has helped the farming community to mitigate the challenges of soil fertility and low agricultural yield.
In an effort to promote sustainable agriculture and to increase yield, a unique scientific method of composting and compost bin management was evolved. In 2016, the project has built and commission a total of four (4) compost bins in the Federation. Two (2) each in St. Kitts and in Nevis respectively. Also in July 2016 the project completed the construction of compost demonstration site at Cades Bay farm in Nevis Island. In addition, the project has vigorously provided valuable composting and compost consultancy services to farmers in the federation St. Kitts and Nevis.
Among many beneficiaries of the assistance and technical consultancies of the project are ; Mr. Leon Anthony of Ogee’s, St. Peter. He gave credit to the project for having produced over 4 tons of compost manure which has resulted to a good and better yield in compare to that of chemical fertilizers. Also the project assisted Mr. Carlos Nisbette of Fahie Village to produce one (1) ton of compost which has resulted in 44% increase in the yield. Gideon force Organic farming group in Old Road, Mr. Sydney ‘Cuppie’ Berkeley of Halfway tree, Mr. Glenford William of St Paul and Kittitian Hill-Belmont farm among others are some of the farmers that have benefited from the assistance and consultant services of the project in St. Kitts. In Island of Nevis, New Rivers farmer association work together with the project to produce tons of rich compost manure that are being currently used in planting of crops.
During the last 2017 budget presentation in November 2016, the Minister of Agriculture Honorable Eugene Hamilton spoke about the contribution of the project in the development of agriculture. The Government of St Kitts and Nevis through the Ministry of Agriculture and Government of Republic of China (Taiwan) through its ICDF must be given credit for the success of the project. The Minister, Honorable Hamilton must also be commended for his support since the commissioning of the VFUCQSIP project in 2015. Generally, the effectiveness of the new composting and compost technology in engendering faster growth rate in crops and to produce healthy harvest were testified by farmers and demonstrated by the project team experts during the last workshop in November 2016. The new technology hold a lot of prospects and potentials to farming community and with achievement made so far the farming community and members of the public are optimistic that from 201and beyond the impact of the new composting and compost will not only leads to greater crop yield but will also positively change the way we think of and do farming in St.Kitts and Nevis
To learn more about the V.F.U.C.Q.S.I.P project please contact Shih-Lung Cheng (Mario) at 4652372 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org, OR Augustine Nwosu at 4652372 or email: email@example.com