Published 24 August 2022
Buckie Got It, St Kitts and Nevis Media Source
NEW AGRICULTURE MINISTER DUGGINS MEETS STAFF DURING WALKTHROUGH
(Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 23, 2022):
The Honourable Samal Duggins, newly appointed Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine
Resources, Cooperatives, Creative Economy and Entrepreneurship, met with staff at both
Departments of Agriculture and Marine Resources during a special walkthrough-styled meet
and greet on Tuesday 23rd August.
Upon his arrival, the Director of the Department of Agriculture, Dr Lesroy Henry, led the
Minister to the various units in the Department at La Guerite, Director of Marine Resources,
Dr Marc Williams welcomed the Minister and introduced him to the staff at Marine
Resources while Manager of the Basseterre Fisheries Complex, Asim Jenkins showcased the
operations of the multifaceted facility.
The Honourable Minister shared words of encouragement with all the staff and highlighted
the areas he intends for the ministry to focus on. The discussions held provided the Minister
with insights and recommendations on how to boost and enhance the agricultural and
During the walkthrough, the Minister also used the opportunity to remind the Heads of
Departments present that it is their responsibility to work together as a team to deliver the
aims and objectives of the Ministry for the benefit of the entire nation.
Minister Duggins said he felt pleased with the discussions and noted why the staff visit was
He said, “I must say it’s been a wonderful tour, especially on the heels of my trip to Trinidad
where I participated in the CARICOM Agri Expo 2022 and the dialogues that we had there.
I’m excited to get started here to work because there’s so much to do given the ultimate target
that was set by CARICOM to reduce our food import bill by 25% by 2025”.
According to the CARICOM Sustainable Import Replacement Programme 2022 Report, the
implementation of the Agri-Food Systems Strategy in the Member States is expected to help
achieve this 25% target by giving special attention to priority crops and products such as
poultry, corn, soya, and meats including goat, beef and mutton. The priority list also targets rice
and niche vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, onions, red cabbage, lettuce, tomato and
carrots which are highly imported products in the region.
While speaking on reducing the food import bill, the Honourable Samal Duggins said he felt
“very confident that the 25 by 25 will be met” in St. Kitts and Nevis and added, “we currently
stand in about 15% production for our entire consumption. We need to move that bill down
and my goal as a Minister and indeed the objective of the ministries that I preside in
Agriculture and Fisheries is to exceed that target and now see where we can do that because I
see we have competent staff to do it, we do have fertile lands to do it and it’s just a matter
now of applying the right technical and financial resources to achieve the goal”.
According to Minister Duggins, the visits were a prelude to more detailed meetings with the
individual sections of the Ministry which will be held shortly.
The tour wrapped up with visits to other respective ministries that now fall under his purview.