NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (MARCH 30, 2023) — Hon. Eric Evelyn, Minister of Agriculture in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), says it is because of the Department of Agriculture’s dedication to agriculture why the 29th annual agriculture exposition formerly known as the Agriculture Open Day now rebranded Agri-Expo is being held with the theme “Together for Food Sovereignty; Agri Expo 2023.”
Mr. Evelyn, who is also the Deputy Premier of Nevis, was at the time delivering an address to signal the start of the two-day Agri-Expo 2023, at the Elquemedo T. Willett Park on March 30 H pointed to the strides made in the agriculture sector on Nevis over the years.
“We are here today not by chance. We have been committed to the cause of agriculture for the past 29 years since this started, and that is why I believe the change from Agriculture Open Day to Agri-Expo is commensurate with the giant strides that we have made in all aspects of agriculture.
“We’ve made giant strides in food production, in fruit production, in agro-processing, in meat processing, in animal production, in every aspect of agriculture also including greenhouse technology, and the list goes on and on; and we have even taken it further because over the years we have been hearing so much about food security which involves ensuring that people have food and enough food,” he said.
The minister noted that in keeping with the theme of the exposition they have gone beyond what obtained before the idea of food security.
“This year, of course, our theme is “Together for Food Sovereignty; Agri Expo 2023” and of course, food sovereignty takes it further than food security and for food sovereignty we are ensuring that people have the right to nutritious and culturally adapted foods which are grown in ecologically safe and environmentally safe conditions; and of course, with food sovereignty, the people who are consuming the food, you also have a right to determine what policies that we in the Department and Ministry of Agriculture will employ for food production; and so I am very proud of the work that has been done over the years and in particular the preparation for this spectacle for the Agri-Expo 2023,” he said.
Mr. Evelyn publicly commended the management and staff at the Ministry and Department of Agriculture for their hard work on show for all to see.
He also thanked their allied agencies, whom he said have been a part of the island’s journey in agriculture.
“This journey for the past years it has not been on our own because in the Ministry and the Department of Agriculture, we believe in partnerships. We believe in striking and forging partnerships and we have had partnerships with our allied agencies over the years who have been extremely good to us. I speak of the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan); I speak of [Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute] CARDI; I speak of [Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture] IICA; I speak of the other government departments and we want to thank you for the partnership over the years and the exceptional work that you have done to move the sector forward here on the island of Nevis,” he said.
In addition, the agriculture minister thanked the island’s farmers for their invaluable support of the event.
“I also want to salute and commend and congratulate all of our farmers and all of our participants who have been with us from the onset, and who have been coming on board over the years to ensure that we have the best showcase that agriculture has to offer on the island of Nevis,” Mr. Evelyn said.