More Investments, Support For The Marine Sector Coming In 2024

Back Row: (L-R) Chief Executive Officer of the Marijuana Commission in the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Garfield Alexander; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Miguel Flemming; Her Excellency Dr. Hadiya Claxton, Special Envoy for Investment, Development, & International Business Relations; Minister of Agriculture, et al., Hon. Samal Duggins; and Technical Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Ronald King. Front Row: (L-R) Southern University President, Dennis Shields; and  Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Hon. Dr. Geoffrey Hanley.
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Basseterre, St. Kitts – In presenting the Annual Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals for the 2024 fiscal year in the National Assembly today (Wednesday, December 13, 2023), Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew stated that the government intends to make even greater investments and technical support available to advance the agricultural and marine sectors in St. Kitts and Nevis.

Back Row: (L-R) Chief Executive Officer of the Marijuana Commission in the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Garfield Alexander; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Miguel Flemming; Her Excellency Dr. Hadiya Claxton, Special Envoy for Investment, Development, & International Business Relations; Minister of Agriculture, et al., Hon. Samal Duggins; and Technical Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Ronald King. Front Row: (L-R) Southern University President, Dennis Shields; and  Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Hon. Dr. Geoffrey Hanley.

“In 2024, the Department of Marine Resources intends to promote Blue Economy activities such as marine energy, marine biotechnology, aquaculture, sea moss production, tourism activities, marine transportation, boat building and high seas fishing,” Prime Minister Dr. Drew said, noting that the department is currently engaged in research and discussions with key stakeholders to achieve further growth in the marine sector.

In this regard, the government has established a working relationship with Southern University (SU) in Louisiana, USA, that will result in scholarship opportunities for agricultural-related studies and the transfer of knowledge and skills from experts at the university to stakeholders here in St. Kitts and Nevis.

“The chairman and the president of Southern University are coming here on the 26th of December to sign an MOU [memorandum of understanding], and they have dedicated themselves to undertake a number of critical activities to help us in our development,” said Prime Minister Dr. Drew.

The buildout of this partnership with Southern University will also result in the further development of the Federation’s medicinal cannabis industry. A delegation, led by Minister of Agriculture Honourable Samal Duggins, visited the university in September of this year where they were given a full tour of the university’s medicinal marijuana growing, research, and quality control operations.

Moreover, the university and the government signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will see students from St. Kitts and Nevis who are desirous of pursuing undergraduate studies at Southern University benefitting from significantly reduced tuition rates of under US$4,200 per semester for on-campus study. Tuition reductions will also extend to accommodate those pursuing Graduate (Master’s) degree programmes, online degree programmes, and certification programmes.

“All of this is because we took the initiative of making contact with partners who will help us to develop St. Kitts and Nevis,” Prime Minister Dr. Drew said.

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