Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
November 05, 2007 (CUOPM)
The St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Government’s strong appeal to the St. Kitts Marriott Resort and Royal Beach Casino and other hotels and local supermarkets to purchase locally-grown fruits, meats and vegetables from local farmers has met some success.
Last Saturday, the St. Kitts Farmer’s Cooperative Society Ltd and members of the executive team of the St. Kitts Marriott Resort, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for local farmers to supply fruits and vegetables to the hotel.
Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas in welcoming this significant achievement said his government will continue to intensify its thrust to enhance linkages between agriculture and tourism as it is of major critical importance to economic growth and development in the twin-island Federation.
Prime Minister Douglas in expressing appreciation to the Marriott Resort for the confidence placed in local farmers noted that the agreement will not only bring cash to the farmers and increase their standard of living, but also result in a decrease in the importation of fruits and vegetables.
Minister of State for Tourism, Sen. the Hon. Richard Skerritt praised the agreement reached between the hotel and the local farmers and advised that at all times they should make available the right product, the right price, the right quality, a sustained supply and commitment.
Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Cedric Liburd in giving his full support to the agreement after months of negotiations, encouraged the farmers to increase the supply of fruits and vegetables thus reducing the large import bill.
Last year March, following complaints from local farmers that they were experiencing difficulties in selling their produce to hotels and supermarkets, Prime Minister Douglas, accompanied by Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Cedric Liburd, visited several farms and made an appeal to the hotels and supermarkets to purchase the local products.
“This is an opportunity for me to make a special appeal to our business persons, especially those who are owners of supermarket and grocery stores. I also make a strong appeal to the management of our hotels to do what is right and allow our small farmers to have an opportunity to live, as the tourism industry flourishes and expands here in St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Dr. Douglas, following the visit to the farms that produced watermelons, guavas, papaya, onions, peanuts, pineapples and apples as well as pork and mutton.
“All that we are asking is that you give them a fair opportunity to make a living as you are making a living,” said Prime Minister Douglas at the time.
Farmer’s Cooperative representatives including its President, Ms. Arabella Nisbett and officials of the Marriott, Acting General Manager, David Khay and Director of Food & Beverages, Mr. Kevin Anderson attended the signing ceremony.