By S. Williams
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Eric Evelyn Tuesdayvisited the stall of husband and wife team, Emmontine and Billy Thompson who won the Off-Island Category of USVI Agriculture and Food Fair held in St. Croix from Feb. 18-20.
According to Mr. Evelyn, the Ministry and Department of Agriculture is very proud of the duo for their accomplishments in Nevis.
“I would like on behalf of the Ministry and Department of Agriculture to congratulate Emmontine and Billy Thomson for once again making us proud at the Off-Island Exhibits in St. Croix. I am very confident that every time they leave the shores of Nevis that they will come back with a gold and I was exceptionally confident again this year,” he said.
Some of the produce that the Thompsons carried to St. Croix included eggplants, pumpkin, colored sweet peppers, sweet potatoes, herbs, thyme, cassava and cabbage. Mr. Evelyn had opportunity to view the seen the produce beforehand and stated that he was confident that they would win going into the competition.
“I would have looked at some of the produce that they were taking to St. Croix and I was particularly impressed with the cabbages. They took down four different varieties of cabbages and one of the cabbage in particular, the leafs were extremely huge and personally I’ve never seen cabbage leafs that huge and I told them that based on the cabbage alone, the four varieties of cabbage that you’re taking and the quality of those cabbages, I am confident that you will win,” Evelyn declared.
Besides the locally grown produce, additional agro-processed items were carried through the support of farmers from the Nevis Growers Organization. These included essence, hot sauce, seasoning, jams and jellies.
According to Evelyn, the Department of Agriculture sometimes assist with transportation cost and the participants don’t have to pay any taxes. Furthermore, Mr. Evelyn pointed out the noteworthy message that yet another win is sending out to the people of the Federation.
“The win is telling us as well that the produce grown here in Nevis can compete with any produce anywhere in the region. We have exceptional quality and we are very proud of the accomplishments of Bill and Emmontine Thompson and the Department of Agriculture will continue to support those farmers and all our farmers on the island in any way possible and we continue to encourage persons here in Nevis to support the farmers and to buy local and to eat local.”
Emmontine and Billy Thomson will also be a part of the Nevis Agricultural Open Days that will take place on March 30 and 31 at the Charlestown Secondary School grounds.