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Posted: Friday 26 April, 2024 at 6:03 PM

Major agricultural achievements and innovations highlighted at 29th annual Agriculture Open Day in St. Kitts

By: SKNIS, Press Release

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, April 25, 2024 (SKNIS) – It is that time of the year again when farmers, fishers, agro-processors and small business operators showcase their products, produce and services to a national audience at the annual Agriculture Open Day hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Marine Resources.


    Now in its 29th year, the April 25-26, 2024, event highlights the achievements and innovations of the agricultural sector in St. Kitts. It also provides a platform for citizens and residents to interact with farmers, fishers and other food producers, veterinarians and extension agents within the ministry to learn about the latest trends and technologies in agriculture.


    The Open Day commenced on Thursday, April 25, 2024, with a brief ceremony attended by a number of dignitaries including Her Excellency the Governor-General, Dame Marcella Liburd, members of the Federal Cabinet, including Deputy Prime Minister, the Honourable Dr. Geoffrey Hanley, and Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Samal Duggins. Representatives of the diplomatic and consular corps were also in attendance.


    While delivering featured remarks at the opening ceremony, Minister Duggins stated that the significance of such a large-scale event that highlights the achievements in the agricultural sector cannot be overstated, as agriculture is the lifeblood of the country.


    “It holds within it the power to revolutionise our economy, uplift communities and to safeguard our entire environment,” Minister Duggins said, while calling on residents to fully embrace the potential of this critical sector that can define the future of St. Kitts and Nevis.


    Under the direction and guidance of Minister Duggins, the Ministry of Agriculture is also forging ahead with its 25 by 25 Food Import Reduction Programme—an ambitious objective that seeks to lower the country’s food import bill by 25 percent by the year 2025.


    The agriculture minister said that the collective display of agro products at the fair over the two-day period is proof that this goal can be achieved once the farming and fishing community continues to receive the necessary support.


    “It has been far too long that our small islands have been dependent on imports for our food security, leaving us vulnerable to price fluctuations, supply chain disruptions and many other vulnerabilities, but we have within us the ability to change this narrative,” Minister Duggins said. “By investing in our local agriculture we can not only ensure food security for our people but also create economic opportunities that would benefit all of us,” he added.


    In further support of the 25 by 25 Food Import Reduction Programme, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Marine Resources handed over a number of planting materials to the farming community at the Open Day.


    The 29th Agriculture Open Day is being held at the Royal Basseterre Valley National Park, along the Kim Collins Highway, under the theme, “Securing Our Future Through Sustainable Agriculture by 2025 and Beyond”. This year’s event features more than one hundred and twenty (120) stalls to facilitate educational presentations, technical demonstrations, watermelon and corn-eating competitions and free dog licensing.






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