Farmers Continue To Satisfy National DemandWritten by Jo-Ann Peters
Farmers in St Kitts and Nevis continue to deliver on their commitment to food security and nutrition. The latest forecasts for April and May 2012 indicate the farmers will satisfy local demand for selected crops and surpass the national monthly demand.
The Department of Agriculture indicated that for April and May the expected outputs are as shown in the table.
The outputs are expected to surpass national monthly demand.
Commenting on the forecast, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, Senior Minister and Minister of Agriculture said the farmers are doing a very good job in producing quality products. They now need the strong support of the community in purchasing their products. It is my hope that people will buy local first. I make a special appeal to our supermarkets, our restaurants, hotels and our families to support our farmers through the purchase of their produce.
According to Minister Harris “farming is hard work and it requires dedication from planting to harvesting. It is risky business and so farmers expect a reasonable return to compensate them for their investment and risks.
Alluding to the state of the market at this time of economic difficulty, Dr Harris said “I visited the public market on Saturday and I was pleased by the rich variety of local produce available. I know sales are slow. Our farmers and turn hands appreciate that in these slow and difficult economic times where people have less to spend because they are unemployed, or under employed or heavily burdened with fixed and inescapable commitments they have to negotiate their prices. Many of our traders have been lowering the prices to help their customers and themselves. I appreciate that and I know their customers appreciate their sensitivity to the cost of living”.
Reflecting on the state of the public market, Dr Harris said “our public market needs a new modernized and improved home. The way in which our produce market is kept can hinder or incentivize agricultural marketing. We want a more welcoming facility and one that befits a modern thriving city, proud of its agricultural and other local traditions and the contributions of local people to national life and development”.