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Banana exports to the UK resume earlier than expected

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Contact:  Kerwin Xavier


Wednesday 25 May 2011 Saint Lucia, last week, resumed banana exports to its main market, two  months ahead of schedule following the passage of Hurricane Tomas last October.     Minister for Agriculture, Honourable Ezechiel Joseph says he is extremely pleased that the recommencement of the banana trade between Saint Lucia and the United Kingdom—initially expected to take place in June or July—is already ongoing.


“As a government and as a ministry, we're very happy that we were able to come back into production much quicker than expected.  Fortunately, in addition to the proactive policies and programmes we implemented, we got favourable weather.

“On the question of leaf spot, we were able to give support to our farmers and. We were also able to give support to our farmers in regards to inputs. We're seeing the benefit of our initiatives with regards to supporting our farmers post Tomas.”  


Minister Joseph says government will continue to support the farmers including assisting them to re-establish crop insurance.


“As a government we believe that there is need for insurance and we have engaged WINCROP with regards to revisiting their policies. We have invited the stakeholders to a meeting and we are looking at options where we believe that our farmers would benefit.  It is important for our farmers to understand that there is need for them to insure their enterprise because it is a business they are running and we cannot always look for friendly governments and organizations after some negatives, as regards to weather patterns, to extend a helping hand. We have to show that we are responsible and we have to at least provide that safety net for ourselves.”   



The pre-Tomas arrangements, Minister Joseph says, will remain in place for now with respect to the inland reception depots.


Saint Lucia exported over 7 thousands boxes of bananas in Week 20—1000 more than predicted.  The exports for week 21 are also expected to exceed the 6800 boxes predicted for that period.

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