St Kitts links tourism tax concession to buy-local campaign

BASSETERRE, St Kitts, December 21, 2007 – A condition for new hotels in St Kitts and Nevis to get tax concession is the regular purchase of local foods and handicraft.

Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas said that such an agreement already exists between St Kitts Farmer’s Cooperative Society Ltd and St Kitts Marriott Resort.

He said the two had signed a memorandum of understanding for local farmers to supply fruits and vegetables on a regular basis.

The prime minister said that the country’s agricultural sector has been growing.

Peanut production had doubled from 64,000lbs in 2006 to 128,000lbs in 2007. Increases in other crops include cabbage by 43% at 152,000lbs in 2007, white potato by 15% at 288,000lbs, while carrots and onions also increased by 15%.

“Livestock production recorded marked increases for beef, mutton and goat meat during the first nine months of 2007 when compared with the same period of 2006,” he said, adding that beef increased by 35% and is now meeting domestic demand for boneless beef, ground beef and beef burgers.  Goat meat production increased by 39% and mutton by 15%.

The fishing sector recorded a 6% decline in 2007.