CHARLESTOWN, Nevis –- Representatives of the Nevis Island Ministry of Agriculture participated in the Oct. 19 to 21 36th Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean held virtually in Managua, Nicaragua.
Mr. Huey Sargeant, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), said major topics of note to Nevis were:
• The rise in hunger in regions between 2015-2019;
• The economic impact of COVID-19 on livelihoods and food security;
• The use of technology for enhanced production;
• The need for improved access and trade options so that more persons can benefit; and
• Investment in agro-food systems.
Sargeant, along with Randy Elliott, Director of the Department of Agriculture, and Floyd Liburd, Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture, were part of the St. Kitts and Nevis delegation headed by Ron Dublin-Collins, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, St. Kitts.
Sargeant said the Nevis team encountered a good learning experience. More importantly, it validated the direction that Nevis is taking in agriculture.
“We are in agreement with the major points that were discussed and we are at differing levels in our operations to ensure food and nutrition Security,” said Sargeant. He explained that steps are being taken to strengthen the island’s food systems, including investing in storage, agro-processing and water provision.
In the area of technology, they are investing in production and marketing support tools and platforms. The Republic of China (Taiwan) is informing them about tools to assess weather patterns, soil fertility and testing, and mapping the island’s resources.
The FAO Regional Conference is held every two years. It brings together the governments of its 33 member states in Latin America and the Caribbean to discuss the main challenges facing the region in food and agriculture.