Government Approves 30 Percent Subsidy For Banana Farmers

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by Anicia Antoine & Amanda-Faye Clarke

The Government of Saint Lucia has approved a 30 percent subsidy on inputs for banana farmers in light of the rising cost of production and productivity challenges faced by stakeholders in the banana sub-sector.

Minister for Agriculture, Hon. Alfred Prospere, said the subsidy will help farmers maintain the production output of their farms.

The agreement, sealed by the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Fair Trade Organisation (NFTO) ensures access to cheaper agricultural inputs—fertilizers in particular—that have been highlighted by farmers, islandwide, as a necessary point of assistance.

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Chairman of the National Fair Trade Organization (NFTO), Larry Andrew, said the agreement will help boost production and improve the standards required to maintain key international markets.

“This subsidy is a start, and I’m hoping that it is something that we can continue to work on,” he said.

“As it is now, based on the MOU, farmers will be benefiting from two cycles of fertilizer at a reduced cost, two 25kg bags per acre at a discount of 30 percent. Whenever productivity is rising or increasing on the island, all stakeholders need to benefit, so when the NFTO makes decisions, we think of all and not just the NFTO farmers.”

Minister Prospere said the high cost of inputs is a major challenge faced by farmers across the island.

He said this latest decision by the Cabinet of Ministers demonstrates the priority placed on building resilient, sustainable agriculture livelihoods, and underscores the importance of the banana industry to Saint Lucia.

SOURCE: Government Information Service

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Starbach you said you were in your farm and dennery people come and call you to run seat for them and you didn’t ask them for vote…..that’s you and your arrogant ways when they come to ask your assistance. Who’s running your farm now and is this motivation for this subsidy? We know motives conflict of interest and what’s in it for me are rife in certain quarters

  2. Cheaper inputs will not guarantee increased productivity without financial assistance to farmers to help defray labour cost. Livestock farmers need even more assistance to meet the high cost of feed. I’m beginning to wonder whether our experts do an in-depth study of the issues on which they speak or whether they are fully briefed by the people who are supposed to have done the research on those issues. Too many sterile statements come to the surface.

  3. Banana industry is no longer a profitable venture for farmers. It costs too much to sustain a living from this. Individuals should no longer be working hard. They should instead work smart. In the banana industry there is no working smart – it is just hard work which does not pay any dividends. Instead of the Government trying to make a dead horse walk, they should be looking for other industries for the people. This is like pushing a square object into a circular work. It will not work regardless of the approach. Cut your loss and move on to other things – this is on the only smart thing to do at this point. SLU is too small to compete with the giant nations when it comes to quality and quantity. Please Mr. Pierre, do us a favour, there are other ideas which your team can work on. One idea, is to divide the agricultrue industry into groups to avoid any glut. Do not allow the farmers to focus on the same crop or else there will always be a glut on the market. You can start with some controls on the egg inustry, only so many farmers can have chickens, then cucumber, only so many farmers. Please put some controls so farmers can always have some profit.

  4. is this the same shit campton did and cost tax payers eventually for many millions? why are we giving huge perks to investment and we still starving?

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