The Ministry of agriculture has launched its national white potato production project at the Montreal Greenhouse Park unveiling SPUNTA E and DESIREE as the main potato varieties for the initiative. This initiative, launched on February 8, 2024, is a key component of the commitment of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), to the CARICOM 25 by 25 initiative and SVG’s National Diversification Programme which aims to reduce the region’s food importation bill by 22 percent by 2025.
Led by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation, Industry and Labour, in collaboration with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA); the government of Dominica; and the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), the project aims to cultivate a skilled group of farmers dedicated to producing EC$5 million worth of white potatoes annually for local consumption.
Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar, emphasized the importance of the initiative and encouraged farmers to seize the opportunity to participate. He also expressed optimism about the project’s success and its contribution to food security and sovereignty in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Research Officer, Ruthvin Harper highlighted the crucial role of the extension unit and the research and development unit in providing technical support to farmers throughout the project.
The white potato project comes at a time of increasing growth in the hospitality industry in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, further highlighting the importance of local production to support economic growth and sustainability.
The first trial plot is expected to be established at the Rivulet Agricultural Station.