Sunday, 24 March 2013

Agriculture Open Day in Full Swing

“There is hope in Agriculture here on Nevis,” said the Hon. Alexis Jeffers in declaring open the 19th Annual Agriculture Open Day.

The two-day event began Thursday (Mar 21) and is being held at the Villa’s grounds under the theme “Intensify Local Food Production for a Healthier Nation”.

Hon. Jeffers, who has been charged with the role of Agriculture Minister for less than two months, declared that he and his Ministry will do all in its power to ensure that hope for the industry is transformed to reality.

“My colleagues and I are committed to providing whatever support is necessary to move the industry forward. As the new Minister I endeavor to do whatever possible to ensure that the industry moves in the right direction,” he said.

Minister Jeffers commended the persons who assisted in making the annual event a successful reality.

“No praise is too high for our farmers, our fishermen, our cooperatives, our agro-processors, food providers, other individuals, institutions and stakeholders in general who religiously make themselves available to be a part of the Open Day each year .”

Premier of Nevis Hon. Vance Amory said that he wants to see Agriculture as a meaningful economic activity and “to use this avenue, the agricultural industry, to contribute significant benefits to the overall wellbeing of all the people of Nevis”.

He encouraged Nevisians to engage in the consumption of locally produced foods which he said are better than what was imported.

“Therefore you should consume more of it so that we can reduce our dependency on outside importation of food,” he said.
He stressed that the Government is committed to making the Agriculture sector a productive and viable part of the economic development in Nevis.

“Our focus will be to empower and encourage and support our farmers and fishers and all persons who are engaged in whether it’s agro-processing or the growing of plants and shrubs for beautification of our country. Our support will be with you. Just call on us,” he pledged.

Director of Agriculture Keithly Amory presented the Agricultural Report for 2012, informing that the Department of Agriculture was able to fulfill most of its obligation in 2012 based on the mission statement – ‘To establish a professional business climate for the high quality provision of services to farmers and general public towards sustainable Agricultural development’.

“During 2012 the focus was on agro-processing, irrigation protected agriculture system and aquaculture development,” he said.

The Department of Agriculture paid special acknowledgment to one of Nevis’ livestock farmers Sandra David who has been rearing animals for 30 years. She was presented with a fruit basket; flowers and a plaque which saluted her as “the patron for Open Day 2012 for your outstanding contribution to livestock farming and the livestock sector”.

The Department also awarded a number of agriculturalists and members of staff. The crowd was entertained by poems and folk songs rendered by a senior citizens group.

On Thursday Nevis’ premier Agricultural event saw a myriad of food, produce, and craft booths on display for patrons to purchase and enjoy. The usually well-attended display continues today, Friday.
Original Article Here

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