PRESS RELEASE – Congratulations to farmers of Roseau (Region 7) and Bexon (Region 8) who participated in the Ministry of Agriculture’s Farmer Certification Programme and graduated this month.
The Farmer Certification Programme is a Public-Private sector initiative between the Ministry of Agriculture, Consolidated Foods Ltd. and the St. Lucia Marketing Board. It was established to strengthen the relationship between producers and purchasers, by improving production/marketing linkages, better defining market requirements and developing production plans to manage the supply of fresh produce.
As such the farmers who participated in the six week training programme received instruction on Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) standards on the farm, data collection, record keeping, food safety, post-harvest handling and variety selection. The GAP standards assure purchasers that fruits and vegetables grown domestically meet the highest health and safety standards. The farmers who received the six week training certificates now join the over 1000 farmers who are in the process of getting GAP certified.
Local Perishables Manager of Consolidated Foods Ltd. Dunstan Demille commends the farmers for their dedication and commitment to the programme. He said CFL is focused on creating an environment that is supportive of agricultural production and development and will continue to work with the Ministry of Agriculture in realizing this objective. This, he said, was part of the company’s strategy of championing local products, through mutually beneficial relationships with farmers.
Farmers were encouraged to maintain the GAP standards as this is the only way they will continue receive incentives such as preferential pricing and favourable market access from CFL.
St. Lucia is divided into eight (8) agricultural regions which allows farmers (crop, livestock, etc) to be served throughout the island on a daily basis based on a work week.