Tuesday, October 09, 2012 – The Government of Taiwan has donated EC$1.8795 million to the Ministry of Agriculture to aid in the control and eradication of Black Sigatoka which continues to wreak havoc on Saint Lucia’s banana sector.
The funds will be channelled through Phase One of the Government of Saint Lucia’s Banana Recovery Rescue Plan.
Speaking at a cheque handing over ceremony on Friday October 5th , 2012 Taiwanese Ambassador His Excellency James Chang said his government is extremely pleased to provide financial and technical support to help protect the welfare of Saint Lucians.
“Taiwan and Saint Lucia have been working together in developing the Agriculture sector for several years and this project is just another one of the many programmes between our government and it will surely help the banana industry overcome severe challenges. It is my firm belief that through our joint efforts not only the capability and confidence of the banana farmers will be enhanced but also the high quality produced will be tremendous business and marketing rewards to farmers in Saint Lucia.”
The Government of Taiwan will very soon dispatch experts to provide on the ground support to Saint Lucia against the Black Sigatoka.
Agriculture Minister Honourable Moses Jn. Baptiste says Saint Lucia stands to benefit greatly from the expert advice and support of the Taiwanese.
“As government we do understand what is required, we know we have the scientist and technical experts to do the job and what they require is assistance and constant support and am very happy to the Government of Taiwan and Ambassador Chang because over the past months we have been discussing how we can deal with this programme in a scientific way and so am very happy because this plan will augment what government has done so far.”
The EC$1.8795 million investment by the Taiwanese Government has also been welcomed by the Parliamentary Representative for Dennery North – traditionally known as the agricultural belt.
Honourable Sean Edward says the Taiwanese support will go a long way in protecting food security locally.
“This is a wonderful gesture by the Taiwanese, it is well known that my constituency is predominantly agricultural based and in recent years it has been a challenge for several farmers who have continued to toil and the assistance comes in handy at the right time and it will ensure the farmers get just returns for their efforts in the field.”
This is not the first time the Government and people of Taiwan have come to the aid of Saint Lucia, having provided varying forms of support in areas of education, agriculture and healthcare amongst others.
The Government of Saint Lucia has expressed gratitude to the Taiwanese for this latest gesture of support to Saint Lucia.