The new Minister of Agriculture Hon. Samal Duggins is being accused of not being straight forward and truthful with the people of the federation as he presented in his maiden Budget presentation in the National Assembly. Officials of the Ministry of Agriculture are suggesting that Minister Duggins indicated that he was introducing the agricultural transformation strategy plan for St Kitts and Nevis. He presented a booklet in parliament and spoke of his election promise that he was now fulfilling. However According to sources in the Ministry of Agriculture the truth is that Minister Duggins and his PS Miguel Flemming had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the Transformation and Growth Strategy Plan. This was the work of the former administration under the Leadership of then Minister Alexis Jeffers and former Permanent Secretary Ron Collins .
The new plan was Launched on 30 September 2021 and was Validated on 26th May 2022 under the then Prime Minister Harris. The final draft was signed off by the former PS Collins.
SKNIS also produced and issued a Press Release on November 10, 2021 which highlighted the initiative. The article stated “Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Alexis Jeffers, updated the Federal Parliament on plans to transform the agricultural sector over the next ten years, as outlined in the St. Kitts and Nevis Agricultural Transformation and Growth Strategy 2022-2031…..Minister Jeffers said that the government was committed to increasing the production and productivity of the agricultural sector and thanked the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Sub-Regional Office for its assistance in producing the 10-year improvement plan.
The St. Kitts and Nevis Agricultural Transformation and Growth Strategy 2022-2031 was launched on September 30, 2021.”
Nothing new was introduced in agriculture. All of the projects were already being implemented. The FAO spent some US$50,000 to complete the project.
Minister Duggins is also being accused of taking credit for the procurement of a new vessel donated by the Japanese and delivered on island since April 2022. The vessel was assembled about 6 months after it’s arrival on island