St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Nevis’ 23rd Annual Agriculture Open Day commenced on Thursday and continues today at the Villa grounds at Charlestown Secondary School.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Eric Evelyn told WINN FM that the first day of the Nevis Agriculture Open Day was a success with vendors and patrons coming out in large numbers.
“So far the open day has gone exceptionally well. I am very pleased with the way things have unfolded so far today. We had our opening ceremony and it went exceptionally well. We had also had various awards being presented to the crop farmer of the year, the fisherman of the year, and as well as a number of our outstanding workers within the department of agriculture would have also received awards. All in all, everyone who has been to the open day, they expressed their feedback are exceptionally overwhelmed with what they see in terms of the quality of the produce that is being produced here in Nevis, and the quality and the quantity are just exceptional. People are out in their numbers and people are milling around, people are purchasing from the wide variety of products that are on sale. The vegetables are in exceptional quality, the abattoir with the meat and meat products there is a hype of activity where that is concerned as well, the food court is buzzing with excitement, with activity, and with sales, the livestock section, the exotic section that is generating a lot of interest, and all in all I am extremely pleased with the way the day has unfolded so far. We had two food preparation demonstrations from the agro-processing unit of the Department of Agriculture, and we have also had a demonstration from one of our local chefs on Nevis, that’s Chef Sylvester Wallace, and this afternoon we are also expecting a demonstration from Colin Mckenzie from the Mount Nevis Hotel and also Chef Michael Henvil as well.”
A competition among the various divisions in the department of agriculture will be held in observance of the theme of this year’s Agriculture Open Day.
“The theme for this year is “Embracing Climate Smart Agriculture to Achieve Food Security” and all of the divisions within the Department of Agriculture are trying their utmost to showcase the theme in terms of what technology persons can use to mitigate against the effects of climate change. We have seen the effects of climate change over the past years in terms of extended dry conditions, very, very hot weather, rainy dry seasons, dry rainy seasons and so on. So the extent of climate change is actually affecting our farmers. As a matter of fact we do have a competition running between the divisions of the Department of Agriculture as to which division can portray the exhibit within their respective divisions to portray the theme as best in the possible way they can. And so the divisions are trying their utmost to showcase the theme, show the general public and farmers and backyard gardeners in particular, as to what they can do to mitigate against the effects of climate change.”
Various stakeholders were present at the open day, including delegates from St. Eustatius and several St. Kitts and Nevis government officials.
“I must say that the attendance is fabulous, we have had a great cross-section of persons from St. Kitts and Nevis and of course we have had a contingent of over sixty persons who would have visited us from St. Eustatius including three government ministers. We also have a band that came from St. Eustatius and they have performed so far during the course of the day. Also visiting this year, we had the first Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Sir Kennedy Simmonds and we had Dr. Denzil Douglas former Prime Minister, so we had a host of dignitaries.
Ms. Tyzena Brooks was declared the Agriculture Open Day patron in a ceremony that took place yesterday, in recognition of her contributions to the Department of Agriculture over a 22-year period.