CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (October 7, 2010) — “As a federation, we are making our step: our step in promoting better eating habits, our step in promoting better lifestyles, our step in promoting healthier lifestyles.”
Those were the words of Minister with responsibility for Agriculture in the Nevis Island Administration [NIA] the Honourable E. Robelto Hector at last week’s Nevis launch of the National Food Based Dietary Guidelines.
Highlighting that the island’s improvement in nutritional status could be attributed to its level of food security, the overjoyed Minister Hector commended the work of his staff at the ministry and department of Agriculture on Nevis.
“Our farmers and our fishers are well placed here in Nevis to assist. Indeed, our farmers and fishers have played a major part. In Nevis, our farmers and fishers have strived to ensure they maintain their role of providing food for our citizens.
“They are to be commended for their efforts despite the poor weather conditions, the lack of investment capital at times and even labour shortages. Our extension officers and support staff of the Department of Agriculture, they too must be commended as they continue to provide the needed guidelines and incentives to our farmers towards production on a day to day basis,” Hector said.
In addition to “successfully completing” a bi-local campaign, the Department of Agriculture has continued its promotional efforts in the area of backyard gardening and has “invested heavily in water” to support its farming base.
The department, as narrated by Minister Hector, is presently engaged in the primary schools in order to sensitize young people about the importance of vegetable production and food security.
Minister Hector called on the community to develop healthier eating habits by using the guidelines as a personal map.
“I want us today to pledge that we would not become complacent or discouraged by the many challenges we face in spreading the message of good nutrition. Let us see our dietary guidelines as the primary instrument for translation of nutrients based guidelines into good practices for the general population,” he said.