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Region Calling For Saint Lucia Bananas, But Farmers Yet To Meet The Demand

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Saint Lucia bananas are in demand in the region, but supplying the required volume is challenging for local farmers.

“Currently, the regional market is calling for approximately 15,000 boxes of bananas per week and growing,” Agriculture Minister Alfred Prospere told the House of Assembly on Wednesday.

However, the Minister disclosed that local production is between six and seven thousand boxes weekly.

“Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, we are not at the stage where we can supply and keep up with the demand,” the Dennery South MP explained.

According to Prospere, the banana industry is still recovering from shocks generated by weather events, high input costs, commercial disruptions, and abandoned farms.

He recalled a meeting with a Trinidad buyer who wanted at least 2,000 boxes of fruit a week and would provide the vessel to ship the product.

Prospere told the House the buyer indicated that the taste of Saint Lucia bananas attracts customers, giving the locally-grown fruit a competitive advantage.

“Clearly, Mr. Speaker, there is a demand for our bananas in the region,” Prospere asserted.

And he declared that Saint Lucia must capitalise on the opportunity to meet the demand.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. People should work to live and not live to work. Bananas are no longer profitable and should be considered a lost case. There is too much work to meet the Quality threshold – this is basically legal slavery and I am not sure why the Minister of Agriculture insist that farmers should go into bananas. Time to cut your losses and move on to other things which will sustain the farmers in Saint Lucia. Right now you are just beating a dead horse. The banana industry is a dead horse and cannot be recovered. I am not sure in how many languages this needs to be stated for the Government to understand this. Time to move on to other stuff

  2. @sameguy i am completely on same page with you. The only way foward for the industry is to heavily subsidize the input cost of it which the government fail to do. It is high time they stop playing politics with that banana industry. You mean to tell me the farmers growing a banana tree for 9 months and then to sell a box of banana at $18 when one banana tree cant guarantee you a box. Laughable!!!

  3. That’s not how you calculate the viability of bananas.

    You’re supposed to take an acre of land and have it produce a six figure revenue stream.

  4. “we are not at the stage where we can supply and keep up with the demand” that is a damn blatant lie the number of farmers we have that has so many acres of land with banana on it you saying we cant meet up. the reason we cant meet up is cause only a selected few farmers crops are being bought from. As we speak right now there are farmers in jacmel that have to throw away their crops because they are not being bought and are left to spoil i am sure one of those farmers can deliver five thousand boxes, just one farmer. on top of that not to mention you bigger heads make it an unprofitable business for the poor farmers. By the way does prospere have a banana farm?

  5. There is no agriculture is easy. They farmers getting paid more for the green one so why go the extra week for maturity. This island have zero formula with regards to agriculture. Also farmers needs to be more educated with regards to planting. Campton subsidized banana before when it was called green gold but what happened after when the subsidy cost tax payers over 40m 25yrs later…lol

  6. 1. SLU does NOT have a “banana industry” but a “banana export business”.
    2. Why not collaborate with another island to keep up the demand? This was done years ago with St Vincent, Grenada and Dominica.

    There ARE solutions … which is not hard to seek, and take advantage of. Farmers are the best consultants!!

  7. There is nothing wrong with planting bananas in St Lucia. In the past St Lucians survived on this industry but now this has turned into a political affair and people have become lazy. No one wants to work any more and this is one of the issues now creating criminals and thieves because no one wants to work. There is not a proper market for the sale of bananas and the minister of agriculture is not concerned about farmers. Some of the South American countries find markets so what happen to St Lucia????????????

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