St Lucia Prepares “Robust Plan” to Combat Black Sigatoka Disease

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - February 13, 2012

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The government of St Lucia is preparing to unveil a “robust plan” to fight the Black Sigatoka disease, which has been ravaging the country’s agriculture sector, particularly the banana industry.

The plan includes cabinet-approved aid for affected farmers and the destruction of abandoned farms where the disease is prevalent and a public awareness campaign.

“We are going to engage farmers and meet with our farmers all around the country to educate them on the disease and get them onboard the eradication plan with us,” said Agriculture Minister Moses Jean Baptiste, who had just returned from a trip to Costa Rica.

A major issue of discussion in Costa Rica was the disease, something with which the Central American nation is familiar.

“We are hoping that the eradication of the inactive and abandoned fields will give us some relief in relation to the spread of the Black Sigatoka disease,” he said.

According to Baptiste, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet are supportive of the Black Sigatoka Response Plan.

In several weeks, the Agriculture Ministry will host a conference on St Lucia’s Banana Industry as well.

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