Left to right, Huey Sargeant, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture on Nevis; Ron Dublin-Collins, third from left, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture in St. Kitts; and Hon. Alexis Jeffers, Minister of Agriculture on Nevis and Minister of Agriculture in the Federal government; with Godwin “Mike” Browne (second from left) on his farm at New River.

CHARLESTOWN Nevis – A visit to the Nevis agricultural sector was described by Ron Dublin-Collins, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture in St. Kitts, as “an eye opener.”

The permanent secretary was in Nevis on July 28 at the invitation of Hon. Alexis Jeffers, Minister of Agriculture in the Nevis island Administration (NIA), who also holds the portfolio as Minister of Agriculture in the Federal Government, to see agriculture at work, and to forge a greater partnership in the sector moving forward.

Ron Dublin-Collins, left, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture in St. Kitts (left) and Hon. Alexis Jeffers Minister of Agriculture on Nevis and Federal Minister of Agriculture look at some of the products produced by the Agro Processing Unit in the Department of Agriculture.
Mc Levon “Mackie” Tross, left, at AI Farms in Gingerland, with Ron Dublin-Collins, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture in St. Kitts; and Randy Elliott, right, Director in the Department of Agriculture in Nevis.

“Today’s visit has been most informative. The insight has been deep, and I am highly inspired,” said Dublin-Collins. “I think that we have been able to see agriculture at its best in Nevis and how Nevis has been able to deal with a number of the challenges. We can have that sharing of experiences on both islands, and the closer collaboration to ensure that we achieve the mandate that is given to our Federal minister for both islands.”

He assured that the colleague ministries are dedicated to improving the agriculture sector in St. Kitts and in Nevis.

“We are committed as a team to improving the agriculture sector in our Federation,” said Dublin-Collins, “transforming and ensuring that we provide the best possible service to all our stakeholders. This will increase the level of partnership with all our regional and international partners.”

Hon. Jeffers, accompanied Dublin-Collins and Huey Sargeant, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture on Nevis, and other officials in the Department of Agriculture on the tour, described the exercise as an essential one.

“Another important reason for this tour this morning is to give you also a sense as to what we need to do together,” said Jeffers. “We have seen this from the get go as our collaborative effort. “St. Kitts and Nevis can work together to carry out the mandate of the Federal Government and also the Nevis Island administration as we work together to build agriculture in the Federation.

“We have in the past worked unilaterally, in Nevis on its own, St. Kitts on its own,” he said. “But, we have seen a new thrust in recent times with the portfolio that has been given to me to bring both islands together and see if we can work together to ensure that at the end of five years at least we can present to the Federation what we have accomplished based on the road map that we have set out from the get go.”

Jeffers expressed hope that they could build on the foundation that is already in place in agriculture on both islands.

“It is my hope that we can build on what we have done here in Nevis, and what we have done in St. Kitts,” said Jeffers. “I have said that over the next five years, there are areas in this sector that we can point to in five-years-time, that we can work together to bring about a change or improve upon…

“What we are trying to accomplish is to make sure that we are doing the right things and working well with our stakeholders who are our farmers,” said Jeffers. “We are ensuring that they have what it takes to buy into what we are trying to accomplish over the next couple of years. So, the trip here this morning was a useful one.”