By Anicia Antoine, Government Information Service
The Government of Saint Lucia made a critical decision to restructure and revise the scope of the Saint Lucia Marketing Board, rebranded as the Saint Lucia Marketing Entity.
One of the major thrusts of the newly-structured board will be the facilitation of exports as well as ensuring a more effective structure of farmer production and marketing to meet local, regional, and international standards.
Barrymore Felicien, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Natural Resources, Physical Planning, and Cooperatives, stressed the importance of having an effective marketing body in creating and maintaining the demand for goods produced by local farmers.
“The aim is to restructure the marketing board and arrive at a suitable strategy. We want to ensure that the marketing board remains a strong institution to continue serving us well.”
The permanent secretary explained that a pack house will also be created.
“A pack house will be set up to receive produce, and clean, sanitize, package and distribute that produce. The difference with this pack house is that it will be hazard certified to international food safety standards so that there are options for export. Once that it is in place then we will see the resurgence of strong marketing of local produce regionally and internationally.”
Ministry of Agriculture officials reaffirmed the Government of Saint Lucia’s commitment to support and assist farmers.