NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (APRIL 30, 2015) — The third annual Agriculture Awareness Month hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture, will begin on May 1st with a range of agriculture-related activities promoting food security.
The month comes on the heels of what agriculture officials on Nevis describe as a successful 21st Annual Agriculture Open Day which was held in March.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and host of the department’s “Eye on Agriculture” programme Eric Evelyn said the theme for the month would be “Strengthening the drive towards Food Security,” which was being used for all activities hosted by the department for 2015.
On Friday May 01, to kick off the activities, the department will be featured on VON Radio’s Morning Inspiration programme. Later that day, it will hold the first of several sales throughout the month at the George Mawbray Hanley Market Complex in Charlestown. It will begin at 8:30 a.m. with vegetables and meat products from the Abattoir for sale.
Vegetable and meat sales are also scheduled for May 08 and 22nd and a vegetable sale on the 15. On May 29th there will be a major sale. A number of agricultural products will be available at that sale ranging from Agro Processing Centre products, fruit trees and seedlings from the Propagation Unit and monkey meat for purchase or sampling.
On May 03, the department will worship at the St. Paul’s Anglican Church from 8:30 a.m.
During May 4, Labour Day, a public holiday, the department will join the Hanley’s Road Fisherfolk Association for its second annual Indian Castle Fishing Tournament. Evelyn said this year, the association decided to open the contest to fishers throughout Nevis.
Participants are expected to return to the shores of Indian Castle with their catch by 4 p.m., however, other activities on the beach will commence at 10 a.m. and run until 10 p.m.
On May 12 and 19, the department would provide an opportunity for members of the public to learn the art of budding and grafting from 9 a.m. until midday at the Prospect Agricultural Station.
The department’s ongoing beautification drive, which commenced in 2014, will be in focus on May 13. Evelyn explained that the roadway from the island main road to the department’s offices at Prospect, would be beautified with planted flowers.
An open day will be held on May 21, at the Maddens Agricultural Station in an effort to promote forage bank development on Nevis among livestock farmers. The event would serve to encourage farmers to plant forage banks with grass and sugar cane in readiness for dry periods in which they could cut and carry feed to their animals.
During the final week of May, Evelyn said there would be two key events that would lead up to the close of the awareness month.
“On Wednesday the 27th of May we will be having the official commissioning of the greenhouse that is currently being built at Prospect. That greenhouse is coming to us through the kind compliments of the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture [IICA].
“Through the instrumentality of the IICA office in St. Kitts and Nevis, we have been able to procure some funds to construct this green house,” he said.
An open day will be held simultaneously with the official commissioning for the public. Evelyn said both events would serve to bolster the department’s thrust in greenhouse production.
On May 28th the Ministry of Agriculture’s website will be launched. It will be used to disseminate information pertaining to the Ministry and the departments of Agriculture, Cooperatives, and Fisheries which fall under its umbrella.
Evelyn reminded that throughout the month, the dwarf coconut tree collection drive will available for persons to continue donating coconut slips and seedlings for propagation. The drive to replant coconut trees commenced on Nevis in 2014.