The Nevis Island Administration's call for greater food security for the island has not gone unheeded. It has resulted in an increase in crop production over the past year.
Deputy Premier and NIA Minister of Agriculture, Alexis Jeffers, also spoke to the upward trajectory of crop production, lauding it as an important accomplishment in the agriculture sector. He revealed that comparative statistics for April-June 2019 compared to April-June 2020 show increased production of several key crops.
Tomato production increased by 5.9 percent, going from 17,950 pounds in 2019 to 19,000 pounds in 2020. In 2019 6,200 pounds of peppers were produced compared to 8,400 pounds, an increase of 35.48 percent, while production of lettuce heads increased by 10.2 percent, to 8,640 heads.
Even greater increases in yields were seen in melons, squash, and sweet potato.
In 2019, approximately 9,500 pounds of melons were produced as compared to 26,200 pounds by June 2020. This is an increase of 175.79 percent and squash production increased by 76.44 percent over the comparative period (4,500 pounds to 7,940 pounds).
The largest increase in output came from sweet potato production which saw a 618.75 percent increase, rising from 640 pounds in 2019 to 4,600 pounds in 2020.
It was also noted that pumpkin production decreased by 53.8 percent, falling from 45, 900 pounds in 2019 to 2, 200 pounds in 2020.