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Local banana farmers get Taiwanese help to “stabilize income”

By SNO Staff

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(SNO) — Banana farmers in Saint Lucia, impacted by Tropical Storm Kirk, are getting assistance from Taiwan to stabilize their income, according to a press release.

This is being done by the Taiwan Technical Mission in collaboration with the Banana Productivity Improvement Project (BPIP) of the Ministry of Agriculture, through the distribution of over 20,000 seedlings of short-term fruit and vegetable seedlings of watermelon, cantaloupe, papaya and cucumber.

The crops, which have now reached the market, are providing income for several farmers as they await their banana crops to mature.

Taiwanese Head of Mission, Mario Cheng, is satisfied with the outcome of the programme.

“It is indeed gratifying to see vegetable production in regions where only bananas were originally produced,” he stated. “Deglos, La Caye, Grace, Roseau, and Micoud have begun to produce fruits and vegetables to effectively stabilize banana farmers’ income.”

Some 150 banana farmers have also benefited from another programme, the Global Gap, courtesy of the Taiwanese Mission.

They received masks, gloves, protective clothing, medical kits, record books and other materials to improve their participation in Global GAP certification opportunities.

The Mission have helped the BPIP gain success with plant nutrition, rehabilitation of banana fields, black sigatoka disease control, rehabilitation of banana sheds, de-silting of major interceptor drains, rehabilitation of farm feeder roads and the control of weeds and nematodes.

The Technical Mission said it will continue to work closely with the Ministry of Agriculture to further enhance the capability of local farmers.

“Taiwan is and will remain a partner in sustainable development for Saint Lucia’s banana industry,” the Mission said in a statement.

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