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Busy Final Year for SLREP

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Contact: Julita Peter

Tuesday, January 29, 2002 - The St. Lucia Rural Enterprise Project (SLREP) is in its final year. So says Project Coordinator David Demarque. He adds that the 2002/03 project year is going to be an extremely busy period.

Demarque says during that period the projectís main goal will be to develop the necessary framework with allied institutions to sustain micro enterprise activities. According to him, the project, currently in its sixth year, has been successful in a number of undertakings, especially in the areas of cassava processing and sea moss cultivation. Accordingly, a cassava processing centre will be opened in the next two weeks in Vigie.

The project is also working with the Forestry Department in establishing an Agro Forestry Demonstration Crop project to show how the wild palm (used for making brooms) can be cultivated. This experiment would involve inter-planting palm and mauby trees on the holdings of farmers. Demarque says there is a potential market for the brooms and in fact exports to Barbados have been made.

Also, he adds, SLREP will continue to pursue vigorously other micro enterprise activities such as the drying and packaging of fish which has already started in Dennery, the commercialisation of rabbit and the production of hot peppers.

The St. Lucia Rural Enterprise Project, with the assistance of the National Skills Development Centre, has also undertaken training in paper making using cassava stems and banana fibres. Demarque says based on ongoing dialogue with the Germans, their country seems a potential market for the paper.


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