NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (February 08, 2024) - The following is an announcement from the Ministry of Agriculture in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA):
The Ministry and Department of Agriculture is pleased to present the patron of Agri-Expo 2024 - Mrs. Valary Ermine Hendrickson.
Val, as she is affectionately known, has been involved in agriculture for most of her life doing backyard gardening, floral arrangements as well as fruit baskets. Her most significant contributions however have come through agro-processing.
She has been a commercial agro-processor since 2003 after successfully completing a 10-day course in agro-processing at the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) in Trinidad. At this course she fine-tuned her agro-processing skills in addition to learning about branding, labeling and presentation of her products.
Her passion for agro-processing developed from a very young age. She recalls going to Zethlands in her youth to collect guavas and cherries to make jams and drinks which she would share with her siblings. Even as a nurse of 40 plus years, she would practice agro-processing in her spare time. She now owns and operates ‘Val’s Delights’.
“I just like doing it and the end product would make you want to go more,” she expressed when asked what fuels her passion. She continued, “I love to enhance fruits. Lots of fruits go to waste in Nevis and I want to add extra value to fruits.”
Over time, her catalogue of products has extended to include jams, jellies, wines, juices, pepper sauce, chutneys, dried fruits, pepper vinegar and seasoning. All of her raw materials are locally sourced, with most of the fruits being grown by her in her backyard garden; a feat she is extremely proud of. She boasts of never missing an Agriculture Open Day/Agri-Expo since she started selling when she joined Ms. Isaac selling flowers.
Val is thankful to God Almighty for her many talents, the Ministry and Department of Agriculture for their support over the years, her customers, well-wishers and support team. She also expresses an interest in sharing her knowledge of agro-processing and training persons to set up business in the field.
We wish to thank Mrs. Hendrickson for her stellar contribution to the agriculture sector and her continued participation in Agri-Expo.
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