Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
December 18, 2007
Prime Minister Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas revealed that one of the criteria for new hotel and tourism related facilities to receive duty and tax concessions is to regularly purchase locally produced agriculture and handicraft.
The Prime Minister said this during his 2008 Budget Presentation which took place December 11, 2007, under the theme “Strengthening human and social capital: Key elements in our economic transformation.”
He said that through the facilitation of the Ministry of Agriculture, there is already a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which was signed between the St. Kitts Farmer’s Cooperative Society Ltd. and the St. Kitts Marriott Resort for local farmers to supply fruits and vegetables on a regular basis.Prime Minister Douglas emphasized that progress has been made in agriculture over the period under question. He gave the example of peanut production which doubled from 64,000 lbs in 2006 to 128,000 lbs in 2007, substantially due to the contribution of former SSMC workers. Increases in other crops include cabbage by 43 percent at 152,000 lbs in 2007, white potato by 15 percent at 288,000 lbs, while carrots and onions also increased by 15 percent.
Prime Minister Douglas further elaborated that “livestock production recorded marked increases for beef, mutton and goat meat during the first nine months of 2007 when compared with the same period of 2006.” 0He said beef increased by 35 percent and is now meeting domestic demand for boneless beef, ground beef and beef burgers. Goat meat production increased by 39 percent and mutton by 15 percent.
In the subsector of fishing the former sugar workers have also contributed positively. Thanks to them, there has been increases in the registration of fishers and fishing vessels. According to the Prime Minister, this is expected to “result in significant future increases in fish landings and thereby reverse the small decline of about six percent in 2007.”