By Nikieta Liburd

Nevis Reporter

With an abundance of locally-produced tomatoes, the Department of Agriculture on Nevis placed a temporary ban on the importation of the fruit.

“2008 has started out relatively well where the production of vegetables is concerned. We have over the past months and, of course, over the past years, have been trying to get farmers on Nevis to get up to commercial standard where vegetable production has been concerned,” Mr. Eric Evelyn, Communications Officer of the Department of Agriculture, said.

“A lot of our vegetables come from overseas and we’re trying our utmost to get more vegetables grown here on the island of Nevis.” Mr. Evelyn said. “In 2008, so far we have seen that quite a lot of tomatoes have been produced and we are pleased to inform the people of Nevis that because of the fact of the abundance of tomatoes right now, we have instituted a temporary ban where no tomatoes are being allowed into the island until the quantity we have or the supply have been exhausted.”

There are good production numbers for quite a number of other crops. Right now there are moderate quantities of cabbage, eggplant, sweet peppers, cucumbers, watermelons and cantaloupes.

“We are looking forward from the Department of Agriculture standpoint to continue to work aggressively with farmers on Nevis to get more local foods on the tables of Nevisians.” Mr. Evelyn said.

“We are asking the general public to continue to support the local production. We started a ‘Buy Local’ campaign in 2007 and we are hoping in 2008 to continue aggressively push that ‘Buy Local’ campaign. But for us to make the campaign successful the members of the public must support local production.” Mr. Evelyn said.

“The quality that is produced here on Nevis is by far better that what comes from overseas,” Mr. Evelyn said.