BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — As part of efforts by the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure food security, Agricultural Weather Stations were activated on Nov. 30 at Needsmust to benefit farmers by monitoring the ever-changing weather conditions.
This project aims to help agricultural agencies link agricultural activity with meteorological data, providing farmers with early warnings of weather variations. As a result, farmers will also be able to immediately receive technical recommendations to adjust their cultivation models and reduce disaster damage.
“We all know that the climate is changing and weather patterns are changing,” said the Honourable Tom Lee, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan). “St. Kitts and Nevis and Taiwan are island countries that are susceptible to extreme weather.
“It is important for both countries to learn how to adapt to extreme weather… countries with the ability to adapt will be the winners in the future,” he said. “As Taiwan is a strong ally to St. Kitts and Nevis, we are willing to share our experience in this area. We launched this project [SKN Enhancing Agricultural Adaptive Capacity to Climate Variability Project] last year with the [aim] to help St. Kitts and Nevis to enhance its agricultural adaptive capacities.”
According to Ambassador Lee, there will be three stations in St. Kitts and one in Nevis. They will transmit accurate agricultural meteorological data directly from the stations to analysts who can alert farmers.
“Due to the changing climate it is important for St. Kitts and Nevis to formulate an adaptation programme,” Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton explained. “The country urgently needs to pursue technical training, as well as research capacity building and professional consultation for such an adaptation programme.
“For information to flow smoothly from production to application, meteorological data has to be converted into crop disaster prevention information. This will help farmers with disaster prevention through appropriate dissemination channels.”
The type of data gathered includes temperature, humidity, rainfall, sunshine and soil moisture content in accordance with the meteorological needs of the agricultural industry.
“This is another step in building capacity so that farmers can produce with greater predictability, and our food security waste will be significantly reduced as a result,” said the minister.
Minister Hamilton said the project is expected to cover a period up to 2022 at a cost exceeding US $3million.
The minister thanked the government and people of Taiwan for their generosity in helping with this project.
“There is no doubt, Mr. Ambassador, that your country, which has been our first diplomatic ally, is our most authentic and valuable ally,” Hamilton said. “I can assure you that you can always count on our support in any local or international endeavour.”