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Saint Lucia’s ‘high import bill’ on 7 crops to be decreased through Taiwanese project

By MERRICK ANDREWS, St. Lucia News Online reporter/editor

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The Taiwan Technical Mission has launched a new cooperative project in Saint Lucia aimed at decreasing the country’s import bills on seven crops: cabbage, lettuce, watermelon, cantaloupe, bell pepper, pineapple, and tomato.

“The reason that these seven crops have [been] selected is because not only local farmers can grow them correctly, but also due to the high import bills on these crops,” a Technical Mission press release sent by the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) stated.

According to the Technical Mission, the project aims to improve efficiency of the production and distribution supply-chains of fruits and vegetables in Saint Lucia.

And to boost the income of local farmers and to increase the local consumption of vegetables and fruits, the Technical Mission pointed out that the project will “not only focus on the production side, but the market side” which is “essential”.

“On the market side, it is crucial to understand and predict the preference of market to increase farmers’ income. On the other hand, local farmers should have enough market information to have their planting plans meet market demand through a well-designed agricultural extension system,” the Mission said.

On the market side, the Mission said the priority at this stage is to “understand market needs”.

“Thus, the chief, Mario Cheng, and the specialist, Ai-Lin Chen, from Taiwan Technical Mission in Saint Lucia, Marketing Unit, and the Project Coordinator, Ms. Adline Eudovic from Ministry of Agriculture, had initial meetings, both with SLHTA and the local produce manager for Massy Stores, to discuss the future cooperation, such as the quantities and quality of market demand,” the Mission explained.

On the production side, Chen and Eudovic are conducting a nation-wide survey so that the authorities can gather and understand “real-time information” on the selected crops — cabbage, lettuce, watermelon, cantaloupe, bell pepper, pineapple, and tomato — in Saint Lucia.

Survey being carried out.

The survey was implemented in mid-May and is expected to be completed in early June 2019.

The Taiwan Technical Mission and the Ministry of Agriculture also held two training sessions on the survey “to receive the most accurate real-time field-planting information such as expected yield and expected harvest date of the seven crops”.

Training sessions

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  1. All talk and no show.

    Farmers like myself are rejected at major distribution centers like Massy and Marketing Board when we approach them with these same commodities listed above.

    The government does not provide guidance or advise to us farmers. We are not seeking financial assistance; we are simply asking for fairness when it comes to purchasing our produce and stable market prices.

  2. really! Fruits that can grow right there the people need outside help?

  3. Seven alone ! This should not even be an issue we want everything that's not St Lucian. Imagine I was in Massy in VF 2 days ago in Chastanet run down mall with more vacancy's that anything else this woman was in front of me buying strawberries 4 in a pack at the cost of $25.00 boy I watch her and she had a little child next to her looking more hungry than ever I did not say anything to her but I could not believe it. On to the lime story those big American Limes they pump up $10.00 per pound What the hell ?? This robbing of our people has been happening for decades and has gotten worst with the introduction of the internet and cable TV and those scoundrels families saw it no more fitting than to monopolized the food import permits and licenses to built their Empire on the backs of poor and working poor St Lucians sometimes this makes me feel like a nut when I see and hear them talk I just want to do a Rambo Maurice and Fidel on them. By the way there is a Post Office in that mall boy I tell you the fleecing never ends I am in the wrong business. Father God bless our land bless it with thy mighty hand protect us from those who are currently governing us.


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