NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (December 01, 2015) – The Department of Agriculture on Nevis has embarked on the first phase of the developmental strategy for the breadfruit and breadnut technology by recently hosting a workshop under the theme “Way forward for Breadfruit and Breadnut Industry in St. Kitts-Nevis.”
Manager of the Agro Processing Unit Mr. Dwight Browne who served as chairman of the meeting, said that in September, 2013 Ministries of Agriculture on St. Kitts and Nevis, in a joint effort to gain National Food Security, contacted the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for assistance. FAO and the Ministries coordinated their efforts by selecting the breadfruit and breadnut crops to improve food security on the islands.
Technical Officer for FAO Mr. Heiko Bammann, who is responsible for the development of the breadfruit and breadnut project in St. Kitts and Nevis, revealed that a strategy has been designed for a 10-year period for the implementation of these food crops.
Mr. Bammann in support of the Ministries efforts to sustain the nation, indicated that although the region is faced with increasing import bills, the breadfruit crop can combat the trend.
He also stated that this project is a long term development which started in 2011 when the government received its first assistance from FAO in breadfruit and breadnut technology.
“It’s for the next generation and they will benefit from it. The crops will give food for the next 50 years. Even if hurricanes come they just need natural pruning and they will come up again,” Mr. Bammann said.
He also advised that St. Kitts and Nevis decide on the best way forward for the breadfruit and breadnut project to become viable.
Meantime, Permanent Secretary, in the Ministry of Agriculture Mr. Eric Evelyn, remarked that the workshop was one of the strategies employed to assist in the effective implementation of the breadfruit and breadnut industry.
He was hopeful the workshop would be instrumental in generating an increase in the number of products that can be developed from these commodities.
Mr. Evelyn also stated that the two week session previously conducted at the Agro-processing plants on St. Kitts to expose agro processors on both islands to the various processing skills involved in the development of products from the breadfruit and breadnut crop, were fully endorsed by the Ministry.
Additionally, Director of Agriculture on Nevis Mr. Keithley Amory, commented that he expected the participants of the workshop to develop workable strategies for the breadfruit and breadnut technology. He also hoped for the successful establishment of the food crop industry to ensure food security.
Also present at the workshop were National Consultant for FAO Mr. Conrad Kelly and Project Director of Agriculture in St. Kitts Ms. Raquel Williams-Isgrey.