Saint Lucia’s agriculture sector continues to show resilience despite the many challenges.
So says Minister of Agriculture, Food Production, Fisheries, Co-operatives and Rural Development, Moses “Musa” Jn Baptiste.
Jn Baptiste told a news conference today that the relationship between producers and hotels has improved significantly.
He disclosed that time for payment to farmers has been reduced in most cases.
The Minister revealed that hotel and supermarket purchases continue to increase.
He told the news conference at the office of the Government Information Service (GIS) that revenue reached $6.7 million in 2014.
This represented an increase of over $2 million in 2012.
Jn Baptiste recalled that bananas and plantains were hit by black sigatoka disease in 2010.
Nevertheless he asserted that efforts at managing the disease continue and many success stories have been recorded.
He said that overall, following the black sigatoka outbreak, exports to the Caribbean region increas3ed steadily.
The Minister said at the same time farmers and partners continue to work to restructure production and marketing of bananas to the United Kingdom.
Jn Baptiste noted that the UK market has declined significantly since 2010.
Nevertheless he said:
“Our efforts at restoring productivity in the banana industry continue to yield positive results.”