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Past mistakes will not be repeated, Govt assures cotton growers

May '07
Nevis cotton farmers are reluctant to plant crop this season as they had a tough time in the past.

Cotton farming takes up not only time but a lot of hard work and dedication, not to mention the cost of pesticides, water and machinery. In the past Nevis growers were not offered fair prices for their produce.

The cotton prices were low and the farmers had to suffer losses.

Large lands of Sea Island Cotton were planted but they were then deserted, which was extremely unjust to the poor farmers.

Hence, this season the farmers are strongly considering shifting to other businesses.

However, Government is now assuring that the mistakes made in the past will not be repeated.

Director of Agriculture on Nevis Dr Kelvin Daly says that the administration had recognized its shortcomings and is working on them.

He said, “"In terms of the price, it is unprecedented. The price is remarkable because we are looking at a minimum of US $7 per pound of lint. I don't think anywhere in our history we got that price for cotton, the same cotton that persons used to pick and show displeasure picking so that is the driving force."

Anyone willing to harvest cotton will also be paid adequately. Planting is expected to commence in late July to mid August.

Around 60 acres of government lands at New River and Indian Castle had already been cleared in preparation for cultivation and the Department was in the process of acquiring drip irrigation equipment, which the Japanese had expressed their interest in financing.

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