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Posted: Friday 5 July, 2024 at 6:40 PM

Minister Duggins leads cooperatives signage unveiling in Sandy Point and Old Road

Minister Duggins, PS Taylor and other officials pose for a picture by the newly unveiled signpost of the Sandy Point Agricultural Cooperative Society (SPACS) on the Island Main Road in Sandy Point opposite the society’s retail market outlet
By: Peter Ngunjiri, Press Release

    BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, July 5, 2024 (MMS-SKN) -- The significant role played by cooperative societies in nation building was highlighted on Wednesday, July 3, when Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Cooperatives, the Hon Samal Duggins, presided at ceremonies to unveil signposts of two cooperative societies in St. Kitts.


    The Department of Cooperatives, St. Kitts, is celebrating a week of activities leading to International Day of Cooperatives, and unveiling signposts for the Sandy Point Agricultural Cooperative Society (SPACS), and the Old Road-based Gideon Force Organic Agricultural Cooperative Society was one of the activities.


    The International Day of Cooperatives will be observed on Saturday July 6, under the theme ‘Cooperatives Building a Better Future for All’, when Hon Duggins will deliver the Minister’s Cooperative Day Message.


    While unveiling the first of two signposts at Sandy Point, Minister Duggins said that the ceremony was indeed pleasing as it spoke of the strengthening of the country’s cooperatives and sector by recognising those who have played a pivotal role in doing a lot of ground work in the different sectors covered by the societies.


    “Now with the Department of Cooperatives working with them, we have seen tremendous growth over the years and today as we celebrate having a home, having an established place, we celebrate their successes,” said the Hon Duggins. “The unveiling of this sign only reflects part of that success. Today this sign stands as the sense of hope that collectively with government support all things are possible … congratulations SPACS, thank you.”


    The two cooperatives signage unveiling ceremonies, first one at Sandy Point and the second one at Old Road, were emceed by the Registrar of Cooperatives, Mrs Earla Clarke-Allen, who stated that the Department of Cooperatives had seen it fit to erect the signs so that tourists passing through the island could know that quality is indeed alive and well.


    The Registrar then called on the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Cooperatives, Ms Delrine Taylor, to introduce and invite the Minister.


    According to PS Taylor, the Department of Cooperatives has been working tirelessly over a number of years with the societies as they exemplify strength and dedication to their communities, while they encourage the sustainable practices including the beach clean-up that had taken place earlier that morning at Pump Bay, in Fig Tree, Sandy Point.                                                       


    “The Ministry of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Cooperatives, is delighted to provide and will continue to provide these types of support to our cooperatives,” said PS Taylor. “The Registrar clearly said that it is a dedication and a commitment to show that these cooperatives are still alive and active. As we unveil this sign here today, it is a commitment towards building our communities.”


    Treasurer of the Sandy Point Agricultural Cooperative Society, Mr Damien Woodley, while thanking Minister Duggins and the Department of Cooperatives for the kind gesture, noted that it was timely as it came on the eve of the cooperative society’s anniversary which had served the community for 14 years and that they were “seeing light at the end of the tunnel.”


    Mr Woodley took the Minister and his party on a tour of the market.


    While unveiling the signpost at Old Road, Minister Duggins talked of his own personal history with the Gideon Force Organic Farm which dates back to a number years before he assumed his present position. He said: “I could tell you about their influences on culture, and I could tell you about their influences on sustainable agriculture.”


    Prayer before the Old Road unveiling ceremony was offered by Elder Ras Ira Peets, who is a member of the Gideon Force Organic Farm.


    Present were also officials from other cooperative societies, among them Mrs Telca Wallace, President of the Liamuiga Agricultural Cooperative Society, Dr Jeune Guishard, Secretary of the St. Kitts Bee Keepers Cooperative Society, and member Mr Oliver Richards, and a member of the St. Kitts Agro Processors Cooperative Society, Ms Roberta Rawlins.


    “We appreciate this gesture,” said President of the Gideon Force Organic Agricultural Cooperative Society, Ras Sankofa Maccabbee. “It is a very good gesture because for a long time we wanted to have a sign and we really didn’t get it - we had the money, but we just could not get it, so it is good. I have to thank Cooperative Officer Ms Kizzyann Warner too, because she was very influential in all this. And I also give thanks to PS Ms Taylor.”


    The Minister and his entourage drove up the road towards Wingfield Mountain where the Gideon Organic Farm is situated. They were taken on a tour of the extensive farm where they were shown crops and other vegetables growing including marijuana plants. Being mango season, some of the visitors picked ripe ones that were hanging low, or those that had fallen on the ground.


    After the tour, Farm Manager and Treasurer of the society Mr T-Sean ‘Ras Bora’ Flemming treated them to a vegan lunch. Helping the manager were Assistant Manager and Assistant Treasurer, Ras Clifton Sweeny, and Elder Ras Marcello Agard.


    “I give thanks to the Ministry of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and the Department of Cooperatives for coming forward and visiting us at the Gideon Force Organic Farm,” said President Ras Sankofa Maccabbee. “It was a great pleasure to see that the Minister and his whole entourage of over 22 persons came and ate with us. We served them a vegan meal, and most of them cleaned their plates empty.”








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