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St Lucia Looks to Costa Rica for Help in Fight to Save Banana Industry

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - February 8, 2012

By the Caribbean Journal staff

St Lucia is continuing to look for solutions in its fight against the Black Sigatoka disease, which has been ravaging the country’s agricultural sector and its banana industry in particular.

Agriculture Minister Moses Jean Baptiste is now in Costa Rica on an official visit, looking to discuss the issue with authorities in that country, which has had success in combating Black Sigatoka, according to Jadia Jean Pierre Emmanuel, press secretary to St Lucian Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony.

Baptiste has previously called the disease a “national crisis.”

“We all know that in St Lucia, our agriculture sector, particularly our bananas, are being severely affected by the Black Sigatoka,” she said. “Minister Baptiste has outlined some of the plans the government of St Lucia hopes to implement in the coming weeks to deal with this problem, but as part of moving forward, there will need to be consultation with our various partners in the region.”

Baptiste is in Costa Rica at the invitation of the Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture.

“This is one issue the Minister will be discussing while in Costa Rica and upon return to the island he will be giving a report to the public,” she said.

During the visit, the Minister will also pay a courtesy call on Costa Rica’s Agriculture Minister and visit a number of farms in the country.

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