Prospere Says SLP Found Banana Industry ‘In A Mess’, But Reports ‘Good Progress’

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Agriculture Minister Alfred Prospere has disclosed that when the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) came into office it found the banana industry ‘in a mess’.

But the Dennery North MP told reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting on Monday that Saint Lucia is making good progress since resuming banana exports to the United Kingdom in June this year.

“This week will be the tenth week and we have a quota of 2000 boxes per week. Initially, we started with the 2000 boxes but because of some issues with our farmers, especially with regard to lack of inputs, initially the dry spell, we had a small problem in terms of meeting the 2000 boxes,” the former Chief Forestry Officer explained.

But Prospere disclosed that exports last week were back to the 2000 boxes.

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“We are hoping that we can continue to improve the industry to ensure that our farmers can be a lot more confident when they produce bananas – they will not have an issue with selling their bananas,” the Minister told reporters.

He said Saint Lucia had engaged the UK fresh produce company Primafruit which is currently buying this country’s 2000 boxes of banana exports.

And Prospere said the company is very impressed with the quality.

He disclosed that visiting the ripening facility, he recognized some issues regarding crown rot and a few bruises.

The UK company also raised the matter of the time it takes for Saint Lucia bananas to arrive – some 21 days, compared to the 12 to 16 days of other country exports.

Prospere indicated that measures would be taken to address that with the shipping company.

He also disclosed that Saint Lucia hopes Sainsbury officials would visit in September-October to review banana plantations before deciding on contract renewal.

Regarding banana exports to the region, the Agriculture Minister told reporters that Saint Lucia is now shipping some 6 500 boxes a week with the hopes of increasing that quota to 10000.

“If we can maintain the UK market, we will be doing well,” Prospere declared.

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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. i hope its not going to be an embarrassing situation when Sainsbury officials come to visit the plantations cause most of the farms are dirty with weeds since the high costs of fertilizers and other stuff but more importantly the weedicide touchdown has been scarce on island for some months now and what ever else the farmers are using to kill the weeds i dont think it is working that good also not to mention if a farmer can only produce a few boxes added to this quotia they see it as not even making sense

  2. Slp kill the Banana industry ,by putting tourism first,we don’t have a banana industry as yet so don’t come and boss about the two little crates of banana you’ll sending to England,the farmer needs more than that choupe.

  3. Glad to hear improvements are ongoing in the Banana industry.
    However Banana is not the only product we should should be exporting and this should be encouraged…coconuts, ground and fruit ,seamoss.
    The minister should also explore the benefits of diversifying to legal Cannabis for medical use, Hemp for manufacturing and other uses.
    The volatility of the destination buisness increases the need for agriculture to increase its role in the country’s GDP

    • Bear in mind Mr Pamphille that St Lucia does not have a “Banana Industry” in every sense of these words – we have a “Banana Export” business!!! To have a Banana Industry would mean that every inch of the banana tree is being used for viable purposes in order to sustain the word “Industry”. And yes, I am in total agreement with you regarding legalising cannabis for its medicinal use, and to increase agriculture in all its facets to bolster our GDP. I always maintain that tourism is a fickle industry, whereas Agriculture is far more resilient in more ways than none.

  4. Well we all know they LEFT IT IN A MESS….It’s in the FOREIGN PRESS, The London Times to be exact a big article, The ABSOLUTE SHAME OF IT; so those yellow clowns can’t deny it. Allen we can’t hear you !! You have mouth for Hilaire, you bitch about gas and how St Lucian’s starving, BITCH ABOUT THIS. Do you know how many Farmers put noose around their necks when the collapse was noted ? Many of them lost their life savings due to the fact they borrowed from the Board and the Bank and they could not afford to pay back, thanks yu’ll White God The Restorer and Savior. They Kill Banana , you think if they were to gain office today they would put in tangible initiatives to restore our credibility on the market HELL NO . St Lucia has the best bananas in the world hands down I don’t care what nobody say, it’s what build this country before tourist took over, it’s the only little thing we have and rum.

    • Apparently you have forgotten in 1997 when KDA declared the so called “Banana Industry” is dead, that they will look at tourism instead? I have not forgotten that!! KDA and the SLP killed the Banana Export, and instead put tourism ahead of AGRICULTURE! I was like: “WTF?”
      I will never forget it!!
      1997!!

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