GIS – The agricultural sector is making headway in bringing farmers back to full production following the devastation done to the sector during the passage of the December 2013 trough system.
Non-banana crop producers from throughout the island, whose production was interrupted, have begun receiving fertiliser under the sector’s Post Trough Recovery Programme.
Approximately 3,200 bags of fertiliser have been donated to the Department of Agriculture through negotiation with the Government of Morocco by Saint Lucia’s foreign affairs minister.
On Friday April 4, 2014, a ceremony to hand over the fertilisers was held outside the Agricultural Office in the Mabouya Valley where Saint Lucia’s External Affairs Minister Alva Baptiste, Agriculture Minister Moses Jn. Baptiste and Parliamentary Representative for Dennery North Shawn Edward, addressed farmers and agricultural officers on the assistance being given by the Government of Morocco.
Morocco’s Ambassador to Saint Lucia Mohamed Benjilany expressed his government’s commitment towards assisting the region. Minister Jn. Baptiste expressed gratitude to the Government of Morocco for the assistance, whilst urging farmers to make optimal use of the fertilisers.
Friday’s distribution of fertilisers is in keeping with a promise made by the Department of Agriculture to give assistance to farmers involved in the production of various agricultural produce following the December trough.
According to the Moroccan ambassador, this was the first batch of fertiliser being donated to the island under the agreement and represents the assistance for 2013.
A follow-up batch under the Moroccon assistance is already enroute to Saint Lucia and will be available for distribution by May 2014. This will ensure that all deserving farmers benefit under the programme.
Non-banana farmers in Saint Lucia have also been receiving fertilisers through the assistance of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Some 200 bags have already been donated to the sector by the FAO.
The Post Trough Recovery Programme began with the desilting of aquaculture ponds and farm drains in many locations on the island and is being extended to livestock producers, fishers and other producers within the agricultural sector.