The head of the Secretariat’s international trade policy section, Dr Mohammad Razzaque, believes that the recent referendum that saw Britain exit the EU will negatively affect St. Lucia’s banana industry.
In a release issued by the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat, Dr. Razzaque expressed concerns that St. Lucia’s already struggling banana industry will come under further pressure unless certain measures are taken.
“More than 80 percent of St Lucia’s exports, mainly bananas, to the EU is bound for the UK. Remember that the country’s banana industry has witnessed tremendous competitive pressure,” he said.
“Unless it secures the same level of market access provision as in the EU, post-Brexit trading could deal a further blow to the sector,” he added.
Market pressures back by weather phenomena and disease, have had a significant on the local banana production capacity.
A recent outbreak of black sigatoka on some farms after Hurricane Tomas is still affecting the island’s banana crop today.