Honourable Minister Samal Duggins has pledged St Kitts and Nevis’ commitment to CARICOM’s 25 per cent by 2025 Agenda.
Here’s what he had to say: “As members of CARICOM, we have bought into the 25 by 25 Agenda where we have agreed across CARICOM to invest in our people so that they more adequately be able to participate in reducing our food import bill by 25 per cent by the year 2025.”
Minister Duggins added that in St Kitts and Nevis, that means cutting the approximate $140 million annual food import bill by 25 percent. That equates to roughly $35 million per year. Further, Minister Duggins stated that the money will be invested into the Ministry of Agriculture et al and “will directly encourage and enhance our people’s ability to target that $35 million annually.”
The Honourable Minister said that:
“St. Kitts and Nevis is ready for an agricultural revolution and a transformation.”
CARICOM’s 25 per cent by 2025
Heads of Government of CARICOM have committed to reducing the Region’s large food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025. The implementation of the CARICOM Agri-Food Systems Strategy in the Member States, is expected to help achieve this target. The aim is to achieve this by giving special attention to priority crops and products.
- meat (Goat, Sheep, Beef),
- rice, and
- niche vegetables, which are all highly imported products in the region.
St Kitts and Nevis puts plans in place
Minister Duggins said his ministry is hard at work with its preparations to launch a comprehensive plan that will outline St Kitts and Nevis; approach towards the CARICOM Agenda. These preparations include consulting with relevant stakeholders and analysing data.
He added, “We have met with livestock farmers; we have met with the fisherfolk, and we are meeting with the crop farmers. Our plan coming out of those meetings would be to collate all that data and properly fashion our way forward, which we would launch in July.” To add to this, the Honourable Minister listed several projects that will aid in lowering the Federation’s food import bill. Notably, this includes the construction of a fish processing facility.
Additional projects include:
- A hatchery (with the support of the Government of the Republic of China)
- Launching greenhouse villages.
- Instituting a Drought Resilience Project.
The Honourable Samal Duggins said once his ministry completes its series of meetings they would put together a comprehensive plan.