Written by Loshaun Dixon Posted On: Friday, 27 April 2012 Last Updated: Friday, 27 April 2012
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Basseterre, St. Kitts, (Friday, 27th April 2012)-Agricultural officials in St. Kitts have been reporting that since 2010 there has been a growth in agricultural output every year with a 4% increase in 2011. They have described the agriculture sub sector as one that is a shining light in the context of a decline in overall economic growth in GDP in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
In addition to this glowing tribute, the island’s Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Timothy Harris has been proudly claiming that the agricultural sector is having a progressive influence on the socio economic development of his country.
Statistics show for the first quarter of 2012 there has been very good output of carrots (41,100kg), onions (25,500kg), a near threefold increase over 9000kg recorded in 2010, pineapple output was put at 17,500kg in 2012 compared to 15,500kg in the first quarter of 2011. Watermelon output was 18,900kg in 2012 against 16,500 kg for the first quarter of 2011. Yams were up at 16,500 kg in the first quarter of 2012.
The Agriculture Minister added that if the country is to continue on this positive path of agricultural growth, it definitely must do more to transform the agricultural sector. The areas of action are well known, he opined. They include greater investment of technology on farm. Such elements of technology as green houses, shade houses, hydroponics, irrigation and other water management systems have to be more widely used in the farm sector, because the quest for food security requires more than land. Like other sectors, such as private residential areas and hotels, farms enquire passable roads, access to water and electricity.
Harris however identified the monkeys and stray animals as major threats to food security in St. Kitts and Nevis. Dr. Harris shared these observations when he delivered the Featured Address on Thursday this week, at the Open Day activities of the Department of Agriculture, at La Guerite.