According to an article carried by The Jamaica Gleaner, 8,000 boxes of fruit were shipped to the United Kingdom and the industry continues to be a significant foreign exchange generator for the island albeit there was a dramatic decline over the past 10 years.
The farmers have been commended for their efforts seeing to the survival of the sector.
“St Lucia was expected to resume exports in June-July but farmers have been moving steadily and speedily to get back in business, and their efforts are paying off,” Agriculture Minister Ezechiel. He added, “Government will continue to support the farmers during the post-Tomas recovery period with the clearance of feeder roads and waterways, the desilting of blocked drainage and other challenges, some of which had to be dealt with specifically by the Ministry of Works,” he told the St Lucia Mirror newspaper.
Joseph, who is predicting that export this week will be within the range of 6,800 boxes, praised the marketing company WINFRESH for its continued support and urged farmers to seriously consider crop insurance coverage given their past experiences.
He said that at a recent meeting of stakeholders, a decision was taken for operations to remain at the same level prior to the passage of Hurricane Tomas last October.
“Further, it was agreed that no measure would be introduced that would place farmers at a financial disadvantage as changes may be introduced during the next six-month period, but if any change was going to be introduced, farmers would be educated and given the opportunity to make necessary adjustments,” he added.
(Parts of this article were written with content submitted in a Jamaica Gleaner release)