Thursday, August 18, 2022

Saint Lucia Farmers, Agro-processors Receiving EU, CDB Assistance

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Export growth and stronger food security will be the focus of a new project in Saint Lucia supported by the European Union (EU) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The project entitled “Enhancing the Capacity of Stakeholders in the Agricultural Sector to Supply Quality Products in new Markets” will ensure inclusive and sustainable development along the agriculture value chain.

  CDB’s Vice President of Operations Mr Isaac Solomon stated that, “This exciting new initiative, facilitated through the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) Standby Facility for Capacity Building, is designed to improve the lives and livelihoods of the people of Saint Lucia and the Caribbean through strengthened trade and increased economic opportunities,” adding that the project reflects an investment in the transformation of local agriculture and agro-processing.

Setting the context for the intervention, Mr Anthony Herman, President of Belle Vue Farmers’ Cooperative indicated that there is long term value to be gained from the activities which include training for farmers and agro-processors in good agricultural and other practices through an arrangement with the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, the construction and upgrade of pack houses and provision of a refrigerated truck to minimize food loss.

According to another beneficiary, Ms Naila Mangal of Mangal Trading Inc.,“Today, I want all of you to take stock of how this project will benefit me, a young, female, agricultural entrepreneur. I am excited about the possibilities that are ahead, all thanks to the commencement of this project. This project will open new doors not only for me but for other female farmers and exporters.… These are the types of projects that we need to push the sector forward, and I am confident that it will do just that…. The work is only just beginning, but the benefits will last a lifetime.”

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Saint Lucia’s Minister for Commerce, Manufacturing, Business Development, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs, the Honourable Emma Hippolyte, who spoke at the launch event in Saint Lucia expressed pleasure that the project commenced, “The farmers of Saint Lucia, have for a very long time carried the weight of this country, and it has been through their toils that our people have progressed to where they are today.” she said.  “Strengthened by the resilience of the farmers, the government was keen to match that resilience with advancements in processing, technology and standards with continuous diversification beyond bananas in mind. The project which targets fresh produce for export markets, is welcomed and timely.”

The European Union’s Project Officer, Mr Sheldon Jackman, stated that “The results are expected to go a long way in advancing the competitiveness of the private sector; improving the infrastructure and quality standards of the agri-food system, while building the capacity among the agriculture value chain actors in St. Lucia.” Further, it will deepen access to international markets for products emanating from rural farming communities in St Lucia which in turn will lead to economic empowerment through job creation, particularly for women and youth.

The project valued at EC925,862, is being implemented by Export Saint Lucia as part of its mandate to boost agricultural exports. It concludes in 18 months. Export Saint Lucia’s Chief Executive Officer Ms Sunita Daniel indicated that “At the heart of all exports, whether goods or services, are the people who make them happen. The team at Export Saint Lucia strongly believes in regular and relevant capacity building. It is in the country’s best interest that we seek out these types of opportunities for our clients. We are especially pleased with the capacity building component of this project which will be delivered virtually, reaching farmers and other stakeholders wherever they are.”

The Standby Facility which is financing the project is a EUR 8.75 million resource managed by CDB which offers opportunities to 15 Caribbean economies to grow trade, deepen integration and economic involvement, impact competitiveness, market access and exports by implementing targeted projects in thematic areas. There are over 20 Standby Facility projects being implemented across the region.

Source: Caribbean Development Bank

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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.

8 COMMENTS

  1. To me the belle Vue famers cooperative had been closed for a while now. Grass has overtaken the place last time I saw it. So who are you all representing, yourselves or the farmers.

  2. Let’s grow good food for people, not just for profit. Let’s learn to sustain OURSELVES, then we can focus on export.
    Teach organic farming techniques, you will not need to buy the herbicide and other chemicals. And we will not be killing the nation with CANCER.

  3. How this project will actually benefit farmers on the ground??????. We need to know. Cost of farming inputs are jumping every shipment. It’s out of control. A sack of fertilizer costing $50 last year is now past $100.00 but we talking food security??? Cost of weedicide jumping out of control. On this path we won’t be able to produce food.

  4. i TRYING N FIGURE OUT THE PHOTO THERE. LIKE TO ME NONE OF THME PPL INSPIRE. CAN WE ALSO HV AN ARTICLE TO SHOW US THE BENEFITS WE HAVE DERIVED AFTER 6 MONTHS OR 1 YR OR MAYBE 5 YRS.

  5. Woiiiiiiii don’t put the minister in charge of that uh………we still waiting for the EU sponsored Broadwalk in Dennery

    • You have a long wait coming for that one…….pockets got fat on that one and here we are again ……this time they made him their rep. I swear DS people are gluttons for punishment.

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