NIA Cabinet impressed with new agro initiative- the Indian Castle Vegetable and Fruit Farm
NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (August 13, 2021) – – Members of the Nevis Island Administration’s (NIA) Cabinet visited the Indian Castle Vegetable and Fruit Farm on Thursday, August 12, 2021 and have expressed satisfaction with the progress made thus far on the new initiative.
Hon. Alexis Jeffers, Deputy Premier and Minister of Agriculture in the NIA led the delegation on a tour of the more than 35-acre estate.
“I invited the Cabinet here because I believe we are doing something exciting here, something that is revolutionary, something we believe will be a huge plus for the island of Nevis into the future. We’ve always talked about sustainability in agriculture, innovation…and this farm is an indication of our efforts in ensuring that we have food sustainability on the island of Nevis.
“I’m sure all our members of Cabinet are pleased with what they are seeing here. This is a herculean effort that has been put in here over the last four months and we’ve seen some tremendous results. As a matter of fact, we have just learned that we will be doing some harvesting of cassava over the next week or two and then over the next couple of months going into next year we’ll be reaping a bountiful harvest at India Castle,” he said.
The NIA has invested more than $150,000 in the production of fruits and vegetables at the Indian Castle Estate Farm.
There are a myriad of crops currently under production including sorrel, dragon fruit, passion fruit, citrus plants, banana, soursop, sugar apple, guava, grape, avocado, and several varieties of mango.
Minister Jeffers informed that over 5000 nuts of three high-bearing varieties of coconut were imported and some 2000 have already germinated and been planted. Another 2300 will soon be planted. A significant donation of the imported nuts was also made to the Ministry and Department of Agriculture in St. Kitts as part of the Minister’s holistic approach to ensuring agriculture in the Federation is put on an upward trajectory. Mr. Jeffers also serves as Minister of Agriculture in the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis.
The aim of the Nevis Island Administration is to make the farm into a nature-based attraction for residents and visitors alike, similar to the Cades Bay Food Orchard launched in May 2021, which pairs Nevis’ agro industry with its tourism offerings.
“It is a work in progress and in the near future we will have something huge to show here at Indian Castle and the entire Nevisian public will be proud of this Administration for its effort and emphasis on agriculture to make sure that we can make it a pillar of our economy moving forward.
“It would be an indication that we are on the right track in spreading that message that agriculture is alive and well in St. Kitts and Nevis, but more so here in Nevis we want to ensure that we bring back those glory days when Nevis used to be the bread basket of the Leeward Islands, and we want to get back to that plateau,” said the Deputy Premier.
He commended Mr. Huey Sargeant, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Ronald “Bankie” King, Manager of the estate and their team for expertly executing the NIA’s vision for the Indian Castle Estate and the excellent care and attention given to the farm.
The Cabinet delegation on the tour included Premier Hon. Mark Brantley, Hon. Spencer Brand, Hon. Eric Evelyn, Hon. Troy Liburd, Mr. Stedmon Tross, Cabinet Secretary and Mrs. Hélène Anne Lewis, Legal Advisor to the NIA.