Overview

Overview

The Ministry has recently embarked on a series of initiatives to exploit the true potential of root crops, especially cassava and to use it as one of the key foods to improve food and nutrition security, reduce the high incidence of non-communicable diseases (resulting from consumption of processed high salt and high sugar products) and reduce the food import bill. The Department of Agriculture will work with farmers to ensure a steady supply of planting material and cassava meal to bakeries and agro processors as a partial substitution for wheat flour in bread and pastry making. These gluten free products will be piloted in the schools then introduced to the wider community in 2018.

The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis receives over one million international travelers annually but imports over 75% of its food resulting in significant Foreign Exchange outflow. With importation comes the risk of trans-boundary animal diseases entering our food chain. This situation is further compounded by the fact that free circulation of goods within the Caribbean region is inevitable. Therefore, there is an urgent need for countries such as ours to build resilience by strengthening the diagnostic capacities required to develop an integrated and sustained agricultural health and food safety system.

Animal diseases and parasites, in particular food borne parasites would retard such efforts if the scientific information is not available to substantiate declarations with regards to our animal health status. Since more than sixty percent (60%) of the world’s diseases originated from animals, having a bio-safety level 2 national veterinary laboratory that is appropriately furnished with equipment and trained staff will enhance the early warning food safety system and result in increased consumer confidence, increase market access and increase contribution of the livestock sector. Therefore substantial sums will be allocated for the construction and furnishing of our own food safety facility, managed by the Department of Agriculture.

We will focus on the replenishment of our small ruminant stock which at present stands at around a mere 15,000 animals due to constant dog attacks and impacts of the tropical bond tick. The Department has embarked on an artificial insemination programme in conjunction with the use of pure bred sires, purchased overseas to infuse superior genetic material in the local herd. This will grow the flock size and increase the dress weight in a much shorter span of time, thereby improving product quality and production levels.

Meanwhile, the Department will continue programmes already established in 2017 that looked at monkey control, water for Agriculture and Capisterre farms. The Department of Agriculture has prepared a project to target ‘at risk youths’ to be engaged in Agricultural production and processing.

+ Minister Message
The Ministry has recently embarked on a series of initiatives to exploit the true potential of root crops, especially cassava and to use it as one of the key foods to improve food and nutrition security, reduce the high incidence of non-communicable diseases (resulting from consumption of processed high salt and high sugar products) and reduce the food import bill. The Department of Agriculture will work with farmers to ensure a steady supply of planting material and cassava meal to bakeries and agro processors as a partial substitution for wheat flour in bread and pastry making. These gluten free products will be piloted in the schools then introduced to the wider community in 2018.

The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis receives over one million international travelers annually but imports over 75% of its food resulting in significant Foreign Exchange outflow. With importation comes the risk of trans-boundary animal diseases entering our food chain. This situation is further compounded by the fact that free circulation of goods within the Caribbean region is inevitable. Therefore, there is an urgent need for countries such as ours to build resilience by strengthening the diagnostic capacities required to develop an integrated and sustained agricultural health and food safety system.

Animal diseases and parasites, in particular food borne parasites would retard such efforts if the scientific information is not available to substantiate declarations with regards to our animal health status. Since more than sixty percent (60%) of the world’s diseases originated from animals, having a bio-safety level 2 national veterinary laboratory that is appropriately furnished with equipment and trained staff will enhance the early warning food safety system and result in increased consumer confidence, increase market access and increase contribution of the livestock sector. Therefore substantial sums will be allocated for the construction and furnishing of our own food safety facility, managed by the Department of Agriculture.

We will focus on the replenishment of our small ruminant stock which at present stands at around a mere 15,000 animals due to constant dog attacks and impacts of the tropical bond tick. The Department has embarked on an artificial insemination programme in conjunction with the use of pure bred sires, purchased overseas to infuse superior genetic material in the local herd. This will grow the flock size and increase the dress weight in a much shorter span of time, thereby improving product quality and production levels.

Meanwhile, the Department will continue programmes already established in 2017 that looked at monkey control, water for Agriculture and Capisterre farms. The Department of Agriculture has prepared a project to target ‘at risk youths’ to be engaged in Agricultural production and processing.

+ Objectives
+ Administration
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