Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre, just back from the Agri-Investment Forum and Expo II in Trinidad and Tobago, has told reporters that Saint Lucia agriculture is doing well.
“Saint Lucia is doing very well as far as our agriculture is concerned,” Pierre disclosed when a reference was made to the Trinidad and Tobago event.
In this regard, the Castries East MP noted that Caribbean Community (CARICOM) figures indicate that Saint Lucia had surpassed its fruit and vegetable quota.
“It wasn’t our figures,” Pierre asserted, adding that the disclosure represented good news.
“What was revealing is the value-added products on the raw agriculture products. There were soaps, there were creams – a number of products can be manufactured,” he told reporters.
“There is cassava. There’s a big market for cassava,” Pierre observed.
And he declared that there’s great potential for agriculture.
Nevertheless, Pierre explained that to make agriculture attractive there must be a market and finance.
“And to get into the market we have to convert the raw products into value-added goods,” he said.
“We have been primary producers,” Pierre noted.
On the question of youth involvement in the sector, Pierre said a large component of young people involved in value-added agriculture was notable.
“The use of computers – the use of technology,” he stated.
“In Saint Lucia, our youth economy merges very well with that so we are looking forward to our young people getting involved as far as agriculture is concerned,” Pierre, also responsible for Finance, told reporters.
He spoke on Monday on the sidelines of a meeting of the Cabinet as CARICOM intensifies efforts to reduce the region’s US$5 billion food import bill by 25 percent come 2025.