By Lesroy W. Williams
(Lodge Project, St. Kitts)— The rising cost of food was the subject of a recent workshop held in the Lodge Community.
The workshop, under the tutelage of Mr. Eric Browne, Agricultural Officer in the St. Kitts Agricultural Department and Ms. Charlotte Walters, Community Development Officer, was themed “Our Food Security is Our Responsibility.” It was held at the Lodge Community Centre.
Mr. Browne who was the presenter said that the objective of the workshop was “geared towards making the public aware of the situation in the world (high cost of food), try to explain the situation and to sensitize the public about what can be done or what should be done in order to counteract the food crisis in our communities.”
We can take matters into our own hands as a community and not wait for anyone by occupying whatever little space we have he said. He spoke about the need for home gardening.
The Food and Agricultural Organization highlights the fact that food security exists when all people, at all times, have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy lifestyle, Mr. Browne said.
The USDA says that food security for a household means access by all members at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life.
Mr. Browne highlighted in his presentation that factors affecting food security include: increasing costs of food production; global population growth; increasing food prices; increasing global fuel prices; increasing farming for use in biofuels; climate change; natural threats; land degradation; loss of agricultural land to residential and industrial development; lack of interest in local agricultural production and political factors.
In order to achieve food security, there needs to be more rapid economic growth and specifically more rapid growth in their agricultural sectors; boosting agricultural science, technology and alternative production options; securing property rights and access to finance; exhibited slower population growth and enhancing human resources through education and improved health, he said.
Mr. Browne stressed the importance of home gardening as a viable option for food security.
Mr. Browne was however disappointed that only two persons from the entire Lodge community turned out to a workshop that should concern the entire community.
“The real crisis of food security in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis has not yet been driven home to us,” Mr. Browne said.