ST. EUSTATIUS–The focus of the Progressive Labour Party (PLP)/Merkman Government to increase local production and create more self-sufficiency in St. Eustatius yielded the first harvest of various crops of vegetables by Made in Statia.
Some of the produce harvested this past week were spinach, cucumbers, string beans and bok choy. These were grown in the Experimental Garden across from the solar park of St. Eustatius Utility Company Stuco.
According to Commissioner Charles Woodley, the available new vegetables are a product of local Government’s push towards more agriculture and more self-sufficiency.
“Government has as one of its focal points that St. Eustatius be more self-sufficient when it comes to producing its own food, said Woodley. “ According to the Commissioner, initiatives in the agriculture sector have been actively supported by Government.
Woodley told the BES-Reporter that it’s Government’s aim to create at least 50 to 75 jobs in local agriculture.
According to Woodley, at the beginning of the programme there was only one local farmer, but now there are three more farmers who are actively cultivating a range of vegetables on Statia.
Woodley said the Island Government has contributed with making available the necessary ground, fencing and ploughing.
Local agriculture serves several goals: local food products are cheaper, the island becomes less dependent on others, the vegetables are fresher, and much-needed jobs are created in the local economy, Woodley stated, according to BES-Reporter.
A recent report by Ecorys/Curconsult, drafted on request of former Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp, named more local production as one of the ways to combat high food prices on the islands of the Caribbean Netherlands.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/70560-made-in-statia-debuts-first-crops