Mustique Charitable Trust offers assistance to farmers
March 11, 2011
Mustique Charitable Trust offers assistance to farmers

The Mustique Charitable Trust has joined in partnership with the government to lend support and assistance to vegetable farmers affected by the ravishes of hurricane Tomas that hit this country late last year.{{more}}

Last Wednesday, Basil Charles, Trustee of the MCT, was on hand at the Wallilabou Agricultural Station, along with officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, to distribute the first batch of close to 13,000 vegetable seedlings that have been donated by the Trust for vegetable farmers. These seedlings were earmarked for mostly women-led vulnerable households, who depend on the production of vegetables as their main income support.

Charles stated that the donation was the second of its kind, as 70,000 seedlings were given to local farmers previously. He said that this is just the beginning of a two phase programme that the MCT hopes to implement with the farmers; the second phase being the purchasing of the produce from these farmers once they are of the quality required by the establishment.

The Chief Agricultural Officer Reuben Robertson was present and indicated that of the 100 seedling trays to be distributed, 30 will go to farmers on the Windward side, 30 for those in the interior and 40 for those on the Leeward side. Farmers were also presented with 1 sack of fertilizer, which he stated was to assist in giving the farmers leverage for production this year. Permanent Secretary Nathaniel Williams implored the farmers to use the seedlings to produce the best quality produce they could as this will help in the import substitution programme vigorously being pursued by the government and help to build up trust between the farmers and the buyers who expect consistently high quality produce on the market. Another 15,000 seedlings from the MCT will be distributed to farmers in March.