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Department of Environment engages Agricultural Experts for the Invasive Alien Species Project

Published 5 February 2023


Buckie Got It, St Kitts Nevis News Source

Department of Environment engages Agricultural Experts for the Invasive Alien Species Project

BASSETERRE, St Kitts, 3rdFebruary 2023—The Department of Environment entered the second phase of communication activities for the Invasive Alien Species (IAS) Project by engaging Agricultural Experts.

The project aims to control what is considered invasive species or organisms that pose a threat to the environment like the green vervet monkey, brown rats and wild tamarind.

For this purpose, former Director of Agriculture, Melvin James and former Chief Extension Officer in the Nevis Island Assembly, Walcott James, have been contracted to build awareness and provide technical capacity to the farming community on both islands. This will be realized through a series of engagement exercises with key agricultural stakeholders like Extension Officers and farmers on the identification, control, management, and prevention of agricultural invasive alien species.

Eavin Parry, IAS Project Director in the Department of Environment, said contracting these two local agricultural experts is aimed at improving the awareness of farmers on proven techniques that can be applied to manage various invasive species affecting the farming communities across the Federation.

He said, “The consultancy also presents an opportunity to gain further insights into which invasive alien species are most problematic to farmers. Such insight might prove useful to inform policy and programme interventions.”

From the Ministry’s end, Hon. Dr. Joyelle Clarke, Minister of Environment, was pleased with the direction of the project.

She said, “We are happy to engage agricultural experts in going out to meet with our farmers, and identify the Invasive Alien Species, especially the plants and bug species affecting the farming. Secondly, to move forward in providing the list with species that are most affecting farmers and their management strategies towards sharing of information and knowledge and communicating best practices.”

In addition, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment et al. Sharon Rattan said during the next three months, the national communication work for the IAS project would include a number of engagement activities that include bringing school students on board for a final workshop and training session.

In the meantime, the activities include sensitization workshops with farmers on the type of IAS affecting them, in addition to ways to prevent, manage and control the species. It also includes training sessions with Agriculture Extension Officers on technical support related to the identification, prevention and management of invasive alien species on farms.


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