Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 08, 2022 (SKNIS): The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Marine Resources continues to celebrate hardworking and pioneering women for their contributions to the sector. The latest of such was witnessed at a ceremony at the Agriculture Conference Room, La Guerite on Tuesday, March 08, 2022 – International Women’s Day.

Maritza Queeley and Delesha Huggins were honoured for technical and administrative support in Marine Resources and Agriculture (Livestock Division) respectively. Tonisha Weekes was also awarded in the same category for crops. The other honourees were Francella Stephens – Fish Farming; Ordis Richards – Meat Trading; Cabinet Secretary, Josephine Huggins – Horticulture; Alberta Thompson – Market Vending; Deborah Davis – Crop Farming; Roberta Rawlins – Agro Processing and Catherine Pemberton – Livestock Farming. The Woman of the Year in Agriculture Award went to Catherine Pemberton.

“Today is a celebration of our women and I extend congratulations to all our women in agriculture, fisheries and agro-processing. I offer congratulations to our recipients of the 2022 Women’s Awards in the Agriculture and Fisheries sector,” said Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Marine Resources, Ron Dublin-Collins. 

“Gender equality and women’s empowerment are at the core of our efforts to enhance agriculture. We know that enabling women to have equal access to opportunities and services in this sector is not only a matter of justice, it is also one of the most effective strategies for reforming and enhancing the sector.” PS Dublin-Collins added, noting that “production increases must also be realized by our women as farmers, fishers and agro-processors.”

He outlined the objective of the event, which is now in its second year and is being celebrated under the local theme: “Advancing Women in Agriculture and Fisheries.”

“This forum aims to review our 2022 work in terms of what we have planned for our women and to share with you our plans. It seeks to contribute to our vision to build, to support and to sustain a vibrant agricultural community renowned for innovation, collaboration and with a focus on women and youth,” said the permanent secretary. “Through this forum, the ministry is ensuring women’s work and contribution will not go unnoticed. We understand the vital link between gender, social equity and climate change and recognize that without gender equality today, a sustainable future and an equal future for all will be out of reach.”

PS Dublin-Collins added that the forum also provides women in agriculture an opportunity to elevate their voices. He said that the ministry is raising awareness of the significant role women play in agriculture and the importance of supporting “economically sustainable development programmes that assist women in effectively addressing our global food security.”

This year’s International Women’s Day is celebrated under the global theme: Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow.” The campaign theme is #BreakTheBias.

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