Banana farmers were fooled by UWP, says former minister

By SNO Staff
Moses Jn Baptiste

Moses Jn Baptiste

The idea of the banana industry returning to the days of its former glory in the late 1970’s and 1980’s is absurd, former agriculture minister Moses Jn Baptiste has said.

Jn Baptiste said he has listened with keen interest the promises that were made by the United Workers Party (UWP) to the farmers of Saint Lucia, where they have used bananas as a main issue again.

“In my view, they wanted to fool banana farmers into believing that the UWP government will suddenly bring back banana production to the levels of the late 1980’s,” he told the media recently.

The former minister said he has also listened to the promises of banana export to Martinique, but would rather not say much on that but would await the “boat loads of bananas” to be exported to the neighbouring island.

Martinique is currently faced with some serious issues as it relates to agriculture, Jn Baptiste disclosed, stating that there have been reports of possible poisoning of some of the soils.

The Vieux Fort North MP said there are also concerns about the whole food chain and the use of pesticides.

“I want to find out whether the UWP government will give our lands to Martinique and French business persons to return plantations to Saint Lucia to be operated by outside people,” he said.

The former minister said he would hope that the new government would focus their attention on developing and expanding home grown model farms businesses, to encourage local ownership.

“I am not convinced that the UWP can return the banana industry to the 1980’s. The SLP government under Dr. Kenny Anthony stabilized banana production in Saint Lucia,” he asserted.

Over the last two years, banana production increased as a result of successful programme of managing black sigatoka, Jn Baptiste opined.

“The UWP government have a terrible record of managing this disease…So again I await the actions on banana production,” he ended.

Despite these criticisms, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has said discussions with Martinique should commence shortly between Agriculture Minister Ezechiel Joseph and his counterpart.

(9)(33)
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34 comments

  1. The environmental issues in Martinique has resulted in a demise of their agricultural sector. The plan is to give the French land ownership or control of lands in St Lucia so that they can restart production with St Lucians working as labourers on these plantations. WTO barriers, other technical barriers to trade and marginalisation of farmers prevents us from ever going back to the days of old as it relates to trade in Bananas.

    Further more the former Minister is doing what he is supposed to a s a member of the opposition. analysing those comments and proposed initiatives and explaining if they are doable or not. Stop being so obtuse and political people and think for yourselves

    (0)(0)
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  3. There are too many idiots in St.Lucian politics.

    (0)(0)
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  5. Mr Agriculture ex minister what have you really done for the agricultural sector during your time. I am still waiting on the YAEP program. As a matter of fact go sit in a corner together with Kenny and Phillip......... nonsense

    (10)(7)
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  7. Fred Flintstones

    Ray Charles promise vibrant opposition in the house an he will be the voice of the people... lol such nonsense.Lest than six weeks after the new government took office you are attacking everything the gov does , give them a chance because you all have FAIL!!!!!!!. Everything you people see now and only now ,you had a chance to do something about up to 5 weeks ago so why talk now , you bunch of colossal failures. Spelling off government bounds to pay step workers .

    (16)(7)
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  9. I guess instead of being opposition. Slp chooses to campaign for the next 5 years.

    (5)(0)
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  11. If you don't have dreams then you don't have aspirations and you don't have hope of things getting better.
    Mr. Moses Jn Baptiste must realize that he cannot tell people what to dream, otherwise he would have to dream for everyone.
    So what would he tell young people who have dreams of seemingly impossible or seemingly improbable fruition? Should he advise them to abandon their dreams and hope for nothing better than they can see?
    I would rather hope that he should hope that their dreams can come true.

    I say to all hose who have dreams of a better tomorrow - BELIEVE!!

    (14)(0)
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  13. We are going to sell to them not let them control the industry

    (12)(1)
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  15. You were the one who promised the banana farmers everything and failed them.

    They don't even have a proper market when they work so hard and pay people to work in those farms.

    The money they get in return is next to nothing. You black man take a back seat and keep your jaw shut.

    You thought the farmers were slaves and still believe in it. Work for nothing. Take a hike and find a job to do. STEP perhaps.

    (24)(2)
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  17. It is true about the cancer causing pesticides used in Martinique in the 1970s - 80's. That was an issue I had highlighted when the study came out about 2 years ago. I also asked the question was St. Lucia going to conduct its own research or seek assistance from the French in determining our increased rates also. Not a word, not a word from Mussa or any of you idiots who suddenly appear to know about the issue. So all the time you all knew but was willing to allow the whole country along with your family to die just to leave your party in power. Aben Bon. You see how vindictive and unpatriotic you can be when it comes to politics?

    Anyway pesticides of today are much safer and what's if Chastanet wants to retun Bananas to glory days? He gave you the Jazz festival that you are still reveling in. KDA and Hilaire gave you Cricket World Cup which up to now people are still paying the debt, some have even lost their homes.

    (23)(1)
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  19. He had no ideas while Min of Agriculture from 2001 - 2016.
    We forget that from 1997 to 2006 also when the bananas industry was destroyed even as Kenny and Phillip spent over $100 million of taxpayers money that they said that other crops were their focus.
    Then when we checked we found that these crops fell by 19% in the same period!

    What is Musa's motive now for his sudden interest in Agriculture? Is it his concern for farmers or St Lucia's economy or the earning capacity of our workers?
    Forget that! He is only interested in attacking the UWP people's Administration our of anger and an interest in getting back to the seat of power
    An arrogant greedy lot who mean no good.

    (8)(2)
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  21. We may not like what we hear but we must face the music. Let's be real.

    (0)(6)
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  23. Man shut up, you lost, do us all a favour and leave st lucia for good.

    (14)(1)
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  25. All of a sudden ull fools crawling out from under the stone like crabs. All if a sudden ull have an opinion yet whilst ull were in power ull mouths were shut cause ull owed no one an explanation. Go back under that stone and be quiet

    (36)(4)
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  27. You all have failed the people. Please allow the UWP government to do their job. Give them a break!! LOOSERS!!

    (34)(6)
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  29. Oh boy. These fellas fail to realize that they have lost. Take a back seat and let UWP ran the country. Give them a break.

    (27)(5)
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  31. I am not even a flambeau but already i can see SLP off on a wrong footing-
    A government in power for one month and already you have drawn the conclusion that
    they fooled farmers. Today, I notice but you and Alva making illogical comments-
    Here's my suggestion to the SLP to begin the healing:
    A) Accept that you lost the elections and stop all this foolishness of self pity
    B) Go back to the drawing board and make a self examination of why you lost
    C) When you have found the answer get together and start restructuring the SLP
    Honestly, you can't come back with this same Kenny Anthony style of leadership
    and thing you are able to draw new people to your party, especially when close to 10,000 more St Luians said they were tired of that type of leadership.
    Please get real and start the process going-otherwise you will be in the wilderness for a very long time.
    GET IT IN YOUR THICK SKULL-THE ERA OF KENNY ANTHONY'S LEADERSHIP IS OVER
    TAKE A PAGE FROM BRITAIN'S NEW PM-AND MOVE FORWARD

    (40)(5)
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  33. Freedom of speech

    Is this guy serious? Man stop making Lucians loose respect for u......Go sit yourself down!!

    (26)(5)
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  35. These guys are just so bitter. It is always a them and us situation with labour. No wonder they created fear, mistrust and loathing in this country.

    (27)(5)
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  37. Saint Lucians are so backward thinking people that they are totally clueless about global trade mechanisms and patterns. How on earth with the WTO like an eagle ready to swoop in support of huge US banana interests with farms in Latin America controlling the US congress will local bananas really make a comeback? It may be possible to sell banana farms to French interests and call it a day. UWP lost its way, back even when Compton rode on the shoulders of gullible young people with his false hope of a revival.

    Saint Lucians still don't get it.

    In the modern-day world, primary producers of raw fruit invariably get the short end of the stick irrespective of which government is in power. It is time local farmers put it in their thick heads that it is past the time to seek value-added for all that they produce. Stop being just primary producers. There is no wealth creation there anymore. You are going to remain where you are economically unless you change. For God's sake get a grip..

    Form cooperatives. Start registering brand names and market by-products of bananas and other primary products under those brand names. Put branded goods on shelves overseas. The domestic market is too small or non existent. Where is Mr. Joseph? Do you have a plan? Move in parallel on many fronts at the same time.

    (42)(5)
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  39. apparently farmers are fools and dont know who destroyed their industry.

    (16)(1)
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  41. There is an embarrassing lack of grace and humility among the defeated SLP. We have Pip shouting victimisation Kenny crying foul, Leo Clarke questioning the calibere of the sucessfful UWP candidates, and now Musa is telling us we have been duped .
    I agree the role of the opposition is to oppose and to hold the government to account, the problem is there has to date been nothing to oppose, the government have not even laid out its policies in detail .
    One thing is very obvious and that it is that there are no statesmen in that shambolic group referred to as the SLP.
    Shame on the lot of you all.

    (23)(7)
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  43. It's impossible to restore the banana industry to the 1980's. Wake up and be realistic. That ship has sailed

    (10)(7)
    • Ikr. Its like impossible to make anything like the 1980's. Lol we r in 2016. Too much politics. When did Lucia become like this. St.Lucia is a disaster. On outsider looking in. #godbewithuall

      (0)(0)
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  45. Can we just get along already. So he indicated that UWP has a problem managing the disease. Question: Is it plausible that you as the former agricultural minister can provide your expertise to the new administration whether publicly or in writing?
    Then again, I don't know whether the new agricultural minister will agree with that.
    MAN!! for the sake of citizens of St Lucia....work together for crying out loud.

    (16)(1)
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  47. Sir, because you were a failure, you expect others to be like you.

    (19)(6)
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  49. Mosa you now getting stupid and ridiculous.
    You were standing out as different but you are now no better than Kenny.
    The English is troubling you as ezeikel never said bananas will return to its glory days but he is hoping to bring it back to much more of a decent level of production.
    You apparently cannot understand that simple English.

    Further the government is trying something and instead of being supportive and wishing well you prefer instead to must sit and criticize and hope for the proposed project to fail.

    You should be ashamed of yourself considering you were a former minister.
    Apparently you too cannot cope with your party's miserable performance and defeat.

    (30)(4)
    • For 98% of the language teachers and the students in Saint Lucia, English IS the second language.

      Kweyol is the first. Ministers having huge problems with simple English? Not at all surprising.

      (6)(1)
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  51. You guys are out of you all minds. I work in the banana industry in all Windward Islands and I must tell you hacks that talk all the bullshit to carry out your research first before talking. Currently St. Lucia is the only WI island that is exporting bananas to the UK. Both Dom and SVG governments were laid back in assisting farmers. The Previous government made a lot of effort in making sure that the banana industry stays in St. Lucia by putting all the structures and programmes in place. The banana a industry will never come to the green gold days and incase you do not no we have an aging farmer population which is declining.

    Also Musa stated the Martinique government has a lot of issues when it comes to agriculture when it comes to pesticide and this is very true. currently there is a high rate of cancer among the Martiniquan farmers. So the man is not wrong and I fully agree with him.

    (9)(15)
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  53. Don't you think that because the Martinique soil is poisoned would be a good reason for ST Lucian to produce for the Martinique market? After all the production cost will be lower and the bananas will be purchased at a higher price from the farmers. Also, the farmers who have migrated to Martinique to work on banana farm land there could come back home to work on their land.

    (24)(1)
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  55. man u r a failure ,ran out of ideas keep shut.

    (40)(18)
    • What do you know about success? the man did very well too bad you cannot see that

      (3)(22)
    • listen to the man what he is saying is the truth. if we let the martiniquans have any kind of hand in our bananas, we will be doomed , they (the martiniquans) because of their greed, have
      degraded their ecology(envoirnment) to such a bad state, that it is beyond repair , why should we have them now to come into St. Lucia to again employ their failed processes of chemicaL and agronomical practicwes.

      G.J

      (5)(19)
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  57. Moosa SLP were the first to fool the farmers. You all used them to achieve your agenda and then dump them. You are the worst Minister of Agriculture St Lucia have ever had. You are in no position to comment on agriculture. I found you SLP took time to start with all your rubbish but St Lucians know better. Bye bye Moosa.

    (15)(3)
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  59. man relax you loose uwp will bring back bananas

    (33)(56)

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