Agriculture Minister Alfred Prospere has described a Venezuela offer to supply Saint Lucia with fertilisers as timely for boosting the Island’s food production.
Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre recently ended an official visit to Venezuela where Caracas committed to providing Saint Lucia urea fertiliser to enhance food production and sustainability.
The Agriculture Minister said the fertiliser offer provides a timely opportunity to increase Saint Lucia’s food production.
“There is a call for increasing production of our food in Saint Lucia, because in some cases when you to to Massy you would see that the supermarket shelves are empty,” Prospere told reporters.
He spoke on the margins of Monday’s Cabinet meeting, noting that some people, especially among the opposition, seem to deliberately forget that Tropical Storm Bret impacted Saint Lucia in June this year.
Bret destroyed over seventy-five percent of Saint Lucia’s banana and plantain crops on June 22.
The storm also impacted other areas of the agriculture sector, including livestock.
The Agriculture Minister said the storm was responsible for what consumers see on the supermarket shelves.
Nevertheless, he guaranteed citizens that there would be more food in the supermarkets in the next few weeks.
Prospere also disclosed plans to meet farmers and key agriculture stakeholders to discuss the sector’s challenges, especially regarding food security and the food import bill.
He stressed the importance of encouraging farmers to produce and supporting them.
“At the end of the day we must be food secure and we must make a drastic effort to reduce our food import bill,” Prospere said.