Food Security: Children on Nevis exposed to importance of eating locally grown foods
CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS, July 25, 2022 (MMS-SKN) — Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education of the Nevis Island Administration, Mr Kevin Barrett, is calling on persons to eat more of what is grown locally as it is healthier, noting that it would encourage the farmers to grow more instead of the country having to rely on imported foods.
Mr Barrett made the remarks on Friday July 22 during the closing ceremony of the Nevis Public Library’s 32nd Summer Environmental Awareness Programme held under the theme ‘Our Country, Our People, Our Future’, with sub-theme ‘Nourishment is Key to Food Security: Eat Food Grown Locally’.
“I should tell you that what we grow here, what we produce here is as healthy as any,” said Permanent Secretary Barrett. “We would encourage you to continue to eat locally. We would encourage our cafeterias and school kitchens to focus on a lot of local foods and that in turn would encourage our farmers to grow even more because if there is a ready market for their produce, of course they would be encouraged to grow more local food.”
Eighty (80) children participated in the 32nd Summer Environmental Awareness Programme which was held over a period of two weeks. According to Chief Librarian, Mrs Anatasia Parris-Morton, the first week had 40 children aged five to eight years old, while the second week had 40 children, nine to twelve years old.
Permanent Secretary Barrett, who was addressing participants of the programme’s second week, lamented that Nevis has a lot of fruit trees and that while his generation used to eat a lot of the local fruits, the current generation is losing the taste of what the older generation experienced. He said that is the reason his Ministry is focusing on the younger generation for them to get back to the taste of local foods and fruits.
“I want to thank you for coming, and I want to thank your parents for allowing you to take part in this week-long activity,” said Mr Barrett. “I am encouraged that so many of you were able to participate and not just the participation and what you would have learned this week stay with you, but you take it with you and at home you encourage your parents to buy more local food, cook more local food – you would eat more local food and you eat more local fruits.”
In his closing remarks, as he acknowledged the Chief Librarian, Mr Barrette said: “Mrs Morton once again thank you very much for putting this together and ensuring that our children get an experience that I believe would be very beneficial for them in the future.”
Nevis Public Library 32nd Summer Environmental Awareness Programme was sponsored by the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union (NCCU) Limited which was represented at the closing ceremony by Senior Accountant Mrs Jacqueline Liburd, and Accounting Clerk Ms Antonia Nisbett.
“We at the Nevis Co-operative Credit Union Limited have in the last 50 years of our existence been working with the people of Nevis and by extension St. Kitts, to ensure that our country realises UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2, which is to End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture,” said Ms Antonia Nisbett after she presented certificates to the participants.
The Nevis Co-operative Credit Union which is celebrating its 50th anniversary under the theme ‘Consistency, Financial Security & Serving the Community – 50 years of Development and Prosperity’, is proud of the Nevis Public Library and by extension the Ministry of Education for inculcating good values to children as that will ensure food security in Nevis when they grow old, observed Ms Nisbett.
According to the Chief Librarian, Mrs Anatasia Parris-Morton, the Summer Environmental Awareness Programme started in 1988 and would have only missed two years, 1996 and 2020. It has always been held under the theme ‘Our Country, Our People, Our Future’, but each year would have a sub-theme and this year’s sub-theme was ‘Nourishment is Key to Food Security: Eat Food Grown Locally’.
“This year all of our presenters came from the Department of Agriculture – two presenters per week,” noted Mrs Parris-Morton. “For our field trips we visited the fruit orchard at Cades Bay, the animal farm at Maddens, the fruit orchard at Indian Castle, and ended up at the Prospect Agriculture Station. We then had someone come in to teach the participants how to make healthy wraps with lettuce, tomato and different things like that.”