Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
February 05, 2008 (CUOPM)
Local farmers in St. Kitts and Nevis are expected to benefit from a new technical cooperation agreement signed between the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Republic of China on Taiwan.
The new agreement will provide for the introduction of new agriculture and fruit crops to the twin-island Federation.
St. Kitts and Nevis’ Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Cedric Liburd said the new agreement will also extend technical assistance to the fishing industry and develop the aqua-culture sector. “This will enrich the diet of our population and also improve food security,” said Liburd, during a signing ceremony at the Ministry of Foreign Affiars in Taipei.
Minister Liburd also said that the agreement will further provide assistance and develop the horticulture industry as well as provide the necessary technical help in conducting a feasibility study to determine the suitability of growing certain exotic food crops in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“It will also help us to establish an agro-processing facility for training and for the production of value added products. We are certainly looking forward to your support in this new effort,” said Minister Liburd, during the ceremony, which was also attended by St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas; St. Kitts and Nevis Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris; Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Republic of China on Taiwan, His Excellency James E.F. Huang; St. Kitts and Nevis Financial Secretary, Mrs. Janet Harris and Charge D’affaires at the St. Kitts and Nevis Embassy in Taiwan, Ms. Jasmine Huggins.
The new agreement replaces one signed in 1983 and Minister Liburd used the occasion to express thanks to the Government of Taiwan for the tremendous support over the years.
“I am proud to affirm that as a result of our collaborative efforts over the years, the agricultural sector has developed phenomenally,” he said.
Minister Liburd noted that with the new thrust towards diversification since the closure of the sugar industry in 2005, non-sugar agriculture must now play a major role in the national economy.
He said that the St. Kitts Agricultural Strategy underpins the policy that seeks to promote sustainable development of the agricultural sector, and to increase its competitiveness. It also seeks to improve food production and increase the food security of the local population.
“Our goal is to improve the overall income distribution level which will positively impact the standard of life for all our people,” said Minister of Agriculture, Liburd, who said the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis was cognisant of the fact that the time has come to review the provisions of the Agreement that marked the launch of diplomatic relations as an independent nation, almost 25 years ago.
“Over the years we continue to see much improvement in the capacity of our farmers who are implementing the technology and expertise that were learnt from your technicians and the revised Agreement will in large measure address our present realities since the post sugar era,” said Minister Liburd.