In accepting the gift during a short ceremony held at the Chinese Agricultural Mission at La Sagesse, St. David, Prime Minister Tillman Thomas expressed his appreciation to the PRC for supporting the sector that increased its contribution to Grenada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), from 5.2% in 2007 to over 7% in 2012.
The agriculture sector grew in Grenada by 15% in 2012.
In paying tribute to former Minister for Agriculture, Michael Denis Lett, who was buried on Monday, the Prime Minister congratulated “our farmers and the Ministry for taking up the challenge to resuscitate the agriculture industry (and to) improve production and enhance the quality of produce.”
“Mr Lett gave leadership to this period of growth of Agriculture in Grenada. His contribution must be recognised,” the Prime Minister said, as he challenged the Ministry to immediately implement measures that will enable farmers to utilise the equipment to further enhance the performance of the sector and improve production levels.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Aaron Francois, who recognised the Prime Minister’s continued support for the development of the sector, announced the establishment of a new pool for agricultural equipment in the Southern District, to better service farmers in that area, along with the Western District.
This will allow resources now based at the Mirabeau Agricultural Station to be used for farmers in the Northern and Eastern Districts.
Chinese Ambassador to Grenada, Xu Jianguo recognized the expansion of the agricultural sector in the recent past and pledged his government’s continued assistance to Grenada to ensure the further enhancement of the sector.
The handover of the equipment brings to more than EC $4M, the value of equipment provided by the PRC to Grenada in four years.
The ceremony, attended by former farmer’s representative in the Senate, Keith Clouden, farmers and Ministry of Agriculture Officials, also observed a minute’s silence for Lett, who represented the Constituency of St. David in Parliament.
The Prime Minister departed shortly after the ceremony for a visit to the Lett family.
He was accompanied by members of his Cabinet.