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BERU Assess Banana Damage after Lili

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Contact: Primus Hutchinson

Wednesday, October 02, 2002 - Banana farmers affected by the recent passage of Tropical Storm Lili are to receive considerable assistance from the Banana Recovery Emergency Unit, BERU.

Programme Manager of BERU, Hilary Laforce says, a preliminary survey immediately following the storm, was carried out by all the stakeholders including the various banana companies, the Ministry of Agriculture and BERU to determine the extent of the damage to banana fields.

According to La force, it was discovered that between 40 to 50% of bananas islandwide were damaged.

Mr. LaForce indicated that the worst damaged farms were in the Roseau Valley although some farms were left unscathed. After the initial survey, BERU officials quickly went on to determine exactly what was the cost of revitalizing those farms that has been damage.

According to the BERU manager, the decision had to be taken based on the cost of cutting back to ensure a certain degree of replanting and to determine the amount of inputs required.

As a result we were able to determine that the basic requirements for fertilizer and herbicide would be in the region of $5.8 Million Dollars. Replanting and chopping of pseudo stems that were snapped will cost some where in the region of $800,000 Dollars. Our officers from the Ministry of Agriculture, from the BERU, from other banana companies are all mobilized in doing what is called a Rapid Assessment Survey to determine on a farm-by-farm basis what is the damage like. LaForce said.

Farmers who suffered damage to their farms will be compensated with a sum of a hundred dollars per acre to assist in the revitalization process.

La Force is also reminding farmers that this is not a Wincrop activity so farmers insured with this Banana insurance company should leave their field a untouched until Wincrop has carried out its own assessment.


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