Minister Lake encourages local farming

POSTED: 11/4/13 2:53 AM

“It would be our own”

St. Maarten – The Minister of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Development and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) Maurice Lake encourages the Cape Bay Community Council (CBCC) and the Soualiga Social Movement (SSM) to pursue communal farming after learning that both organizations recently met at Seaside Nature Park to discuss agriculture development in general.

Over the past few years, food security crises around the world have highlighted the urgent need for developing sustainable agricultural systems.  Nearly one billion people – one out of six in the world – lack access to adequate food and proper nutrition.

By 2050, the global population is expected to surpass nine billion people, and demand for agricultural products will double.  Sustainable agriculture development and food security must remain at the top of the international agenda.

“Agriculture as it was done in the past is not financially feasible today.  We have to apply new innovative ways and approaches in a sustainable manner. The interests are there for backyard farming and I encourage those involved to pursue it.

“I do believe that communal farming can have an impact on the cost of living for those who participate and are involved.  It will also keep the money on the island which means more local investments can be made in our economy.

“From a health perspective, it would improve the general health of the population, but in particularly those who participate.  The fresh produce would be free of all substances currently used today in agriculture production.

“It would be our own Sint Maarten organic produce.  We have various groups in the country who are thinking along this direction and are already doing this type of farming.  I would encourage them to come together and form an association and that way the movement I believe will grow much bigger and will also be able to do more.

“I commend all groups and individuals involved in creating a sustainable agricultural sector and encourage them to continue as this is also the future for the country even if it’s a small micro sector of our economy, it has the potential to grow bigger,” Minister Lake said on Sunday.

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