St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture in Nevis, Eric Evelyn, has described monkeys on Nevis as a “massive problem” for farmers.
“It’s a massive problem, we are trying our utmost to deal with it and as I said that is why we have a consultant here from overseas. As I said we are making some in roads but the problem is that the population of monkeys is so huge that it’s gonna take some time, but we are beginning to see some of the problems being reduced. The problem is that the monkeys devour everything, every vegetable you can think about, every fruit you can think about and it’s not that they just devour, they go and they destroy as well because a lot of the times they go to the fruit trees, they don’t just eat the fruits, they bite, they pick and they throw it on the ground. The same thing with the vegetables, sometimes they just pull up the vegetables and so they are very destructive creatures.”
He said that a consultant was currently assisting the ministry to find ways to tackle the problem.
“We have a consultant here from South Africa who has been working with us for the past year or so. He’s been here on a contract thankfully to the good services of an ex- pat who has a home here and who came and saw the problem we have with the monkeys.”
WINN FM asked Mr. Evelyn if he knew what the population of monkeys on Nevis was.
“We don’t have any scientific data at the moment in terms of the exact population, I know that there’s the rumor that the population is larger than the population of humans but the consultant who is here is working along with someone else from overseas to try and determine what the population is. All we know that is very large.”
Despite the challenges posed by monkeys, he added that many farmers were able to produce enough of their crops to sell. Some have gone as far as to install electric fences the permanent secretary said.
In a previous news item on WINN FM, it was noted that monkeys were also problematic for farmers in St. Kitts. Alistair Edwards, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture in St. Kitts described the animals as one of the biggest problems facing local farmers. He had also said that the number of monkeys on the island was estimated at about 55,000.