Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
January 25, 2008
Minister responsible for Agriculture Honourable Cedric Liburd has revealed that government continues to meet the increased demand for land on the part of former sugar workers.
During an interview with the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service he said that thus far over 100 former SSMC employees have received land for crop and animal production. Minister Liburd said this was done with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organisation which provided just over $1 million. He said due to the success of the project including the earnings of the farmers, other former sugar workers have requested land. He said that some of the applications were reviewed at the Cabinet meeting last Monday.
Minister Liburd revealed that over 300 acres have been distributed in Belmont and at least 100 acres in Fahies, St. Peter’s and other areas around the island. The Agriculture Minister relayed that all persons interested in receiving land for agricultural purposes would have to follow a specific procedure. This involves filling out an application form provided by the Ministry of Agriculture which is then forwarded to the technical and extension service department.
The application is then accessed and recommendations are made to the administrative offices of the Ministry. The submissions are then reviewed by the Agriculture Permanent Secretary who then makes recommendations to the Ministry of Sustainable Development, as long as the application is approved.
Minister Liburd encouraged this increased interest in agriculture noting that there was a general increase in last year’s farm and livestock output. This is evidenced in Prime Minister Honourable Denzil Douglas’ Budget Address for 2008. In reporting on Agriculture, the Prime Minister said that there was an increase in peanut production, largely due to the efforts of former SSMC workers. There were also increases in cabbage, white potato, carrots, onions, pineapples, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes. Livestock output saw increases in beef, mutton and goat meat. The Fishing sector saw increases in the registration of fishers and fishing vessels partly due to the former sugar workers seeking employment in the fishing industry.