Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 27, 2018 (SKNIS): St. Kitts Department of Agriculture’s Fisheries Section received a welcomed donation of EC$10,752.80 from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM) for its aquaculture project, which will kick off over the coming year.
Speaking at a Handing-Over Ceremony on March 27, Director in the Marine Resources Department, Mark Williams, said that the introduction of aquaculture in the federation is an important initiative that will help to limit the importing of seafood by better meeting the demand of the local market.
“We can help to alleviate some of our food import bills and have a healthier population overall. This is where we are today, but we are hopeful that our collaboration will continue for the foreseeable future,” he said.
Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, thanked RUSVM for its continued support, specifically with this new initiative as it will assist with food security and providing employment in the federation.
“I am pleased that we are making that step forward with the aquaculture project because I believe that there lies an opportunity for new entrepreneurs. This new initiative will help to make some families financially independent,” he added.
Minister Hamilton highlighted the long standing relationship that RUSVM has with not only the Department of Agriculture but also in the Ministry of Health on many initiatives including its research on mosquito-borne diseases such as ZIKA and Chikungunya, and coral reef research.
“We are very grateful that we have a partnership in Ross. A partnership that has lasted more than 30 years and which I hope is only getting stronger,” he said.
Dean of RUSVM and Professor of Anatomic Pathology, Sean Callanan, said “we’re very conscious of the need to invest in empowering people” and in this case the fisher folk.
Professor Callanan said that while the aquaculture project was in the “early stages of a development process and feasibility process, which we’re funding right now, we really should consider it as the start of a strong partnership.”
The delegation from RUSVM included Campus Administrator, Ray Francis; Senior Vice President, Corporate Relations, Adtalem Global Education Inc, Lisa Sodeika; and Director of Civic Affairs and Security Projects, Adtalem Global Education Inc, Veron Lake