NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (June 28, 2023)- The Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM)-led Nevis Island Administration (NIA) significantly advanced its food security agenda on Tuesday, breaking ground for the construction of a poultry processing facility at the Prospect Industrial Site on Tuesday, June 27.
At a ceremony to mark the occasion Deputy Premier of Nevis Hon. Eric Evelyn, Minister of Agriculture in the NIA, said it is an exciting time for Nevis as the island prepares to embark on the brand new broiler chicken industry.
“This ground breaking signals we are embarking on a project that will be a game changer for the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. This groundbreaking is demonstrating that the Nevis Island Administration is serious about investing in the agriculture sector… This broiler industry that we are embarking on is another indication that we here on the island of Nevis are serious about food security and food sovereignty.
“The mere fact that we the Nevis Island Administration have invested US $286,800 in purchasing the equipment that will be an integral part of the broiler industry, demonstrates that we not only talk, but we walk the walk as well and we put the money where it has to go in order to get results,” he said.
He acknowledged the contribution made by Hon. Alexis Jeffers who initiated the project while serving as Minister of Agriculture in the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis.
The Deputy Premier also thanked His Excellency Michael Lin, the Republic of China (Taiwan) Resident Ambassador to St. Kitts and Nevis, for the Taiwanese Technical Mission’s contribution to the initiative. Ambassador Lin, who attended the groundbreaking with a small delegation from the Mission, revealed that they would be donating a hatchery to be constructed on St. Kitts, which will provide the broiler chicks to chicken farmers on Nevis.
The Agriculture Minister said this is major accomplish for such a small island, and not only is the Ministry looking to supply chicken meat to residents on the island, the aim is to also supply St. Kitts and eventually begin to export to nearby Caribbean territories.
“I am very excited, and all of us in agriculture and in St. Kitts and Nevis should be very excited because we know the demand for local chicken on Nevis, and with this project we are confident we will grow and grow. We will produce for Nevis, we will produce for St. Kitts, and in the long run we will produce for the sub-region.
“With this project that we are embarking on the little island of Nevis will be the first in the sub-region to have a facility of this nature and that speaks volumes.”
Premier Hon. Mark Brantley and other members of the NIA Cabinet were present at the auspicious event, along with chairperson Mr. Huey Sargeant, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture; Mr. Randy Elliott, Director of Agriculture; Ms. Charnelle McMaster, Assistant Executive Secretary at IICA St. Kitts and Nevis; and other local stakeholders.
Hon. Jeffers joined Deputy Premier Evelyn in turning the sod. When in operation the facility will allow for the full processing of broiler chickens from the slaying to dressing and packaging for consumers. Construction is expected to begin within the next few days.