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NEW LIFE FOR BANANAS?

Image: Preparing bananas for export

IT appears that new life is about to be injected into St Lucia’s banana industry.

Three days before last week’s general elections, new Prime Minister Allen Chastanet held preliminary discussions with three banana officials from neighbouring Martinique that have created new interest in the local industry.

The discussions with Eric de Lucy, Nicolas des Grottes and Pierre Monteux in respect of restoring the once lucrative banana industry have moved rather quickly and THE VOICE understands that representatives of the island’s new partner, from BananaMart in Martinique, are presently here carrying out an economical survey that involves looking at all banana farms on island.

Next Friday, Agriculture Minister Ezekiel Joseph will head a local delegation to Fort de France, Martinique to obtain a full glance of the major banana cultivations there so that St Lucia’s farmers can replicate the high quality of fruit being achieved by the French farmers.

A source close to the new initiative told THE VOICE yesterday: “With the joint technical assistance of Taiwan and the French team, St Lucia is well poised to meet the standard of the European Union. Once the format for addressing the way forward has been completed, a new dawn for St Lucia will emerge”.

It is understood that subsequent to the Martinique visit, Minister Joseph and his team will receive a formal invitation from the Directors of Bananamart of Martinique to visit their distribution centre at Dunkirk, France later this month to fully acquaint and appreciate the distribution system of this French organisation.

Said our source: “The exciting side of this association is threefold. First, the French need our bananas urgently; second St. Lucia needs the foreign exchange and the jobs for our 12,000 farmers who are presently unemployed and thirdly it is interesting to note that the farmers will be represented by Bananamart and payment for their fruit will be made directly by the French supermarkets with no middleman other than a standard commission for the representative – Bananamart.

“Once St. Lucia is spared of any hurricane ravages this year, our farmers can look forward to a windfall within nine months. Bananamart are willing to make their technical services available in the first year to ensure that our farmers follow the guidelines prescribed to attain a super quality and a better price for their fruit”.

The new banana initiative comes at a time when Martinique has joined the OECS grouping and is seeking to build on long standing relationships with the English-speaking Caribbean.

“For years both Martiniquans and St. Lucians have wondered why our trading skills were not fostered beyond the limited services of visitor arrivals, the haphazard migration of St. Lucians settling illegally and the spasmodic health care for special persons”, our source said. “With Martinique, Guadeloupe and other French Caribbean nations joining the OECS we could be looking at a new association without bounds”.

St Lucia was once the leading banana exporter in the subregion with a record export crop of over 170,000 tonnes in the early 1990s. However, new market conditions, high production costs, diseases and ravages by adverse weather have combined to decimate the banana industry which once was St Lucia’s economic mainstay.

19 Comments

  1. TAKE IT EASY DON’T OVERJOY 4 NOTHING ?
    THE MAJORITY OF BANANA FARMERS IN MARTINIQUE AND OTHER FRENCH BANANA PRODUCING COUNTRIES ARE SUFFERING WITH LUNG CANCER AND OTHER FORM OF CANCERS BECAUSE OF THE MISHANDLING AND MISUSED OF CHEMICALS. PRODUCTION IS VERY LOW FARMERS THERE ARE DYING VERY YOUNG
    NOW THERE WILL COME AND SHOW FARMERS HERE HOW 2 OVERUSED THOSE CHEMICALS
    MARTINIQUE AND THE OTHER FRENCH WEST INDIES ARE PRODUCERS OF BANANA

    ” I WILL LAMENT IN SACK CLOTH AND ASH ”
    PLE TA PLE TWIS.

    1. DR. AL-AMEEN, I agree with you; for it was reported recently that Martinique has the highest rate of prostate cancer in the world, followed by Norway and France. The report cited the chemically treated bananas as the culprit.

    2. While you do make a valid point there is the introduction of new a relavant technology being introduced to the industry and that’s where technical personnel come in to play.I think that there would be certain requirements that’s these farmers should meet chemical application ,storage ,ppe ,post and preharvest practices etc,that these technical personnel would in sure are in place .,I’m just saying

  2. NY
    LIKEWISE U YOUR MOTHER AND YOUR WIFE/HUSBAND

    ” I WILL LAMENT IN SACK CLOTH AND ASH ”
    PLE TA PLE TWIS.

  3. NY
    What happened to your checking the assertion made -its validity or hypothesis – BEFORE your opinionated denunciation.
    Let me add my assertion:
    If you are in the BigApple New York City, you are aware of the collossal ORGANIC FOODS paradigm shift.
    The middle and upper classes are travelling far and wide to buy ORGANIC FOODS.
    The popularity of the expensive WHOLE FOODS supermarket chain is proof positive of this trend.
    I understand that you want your “Cheval Blanc” to do do well in post election momentum;
    however the CHEMICAL treatment of foods is a viable hypothesis raised by Dr Optical.
    As an avowed conservationist and lover of a GREEN EARTH, I do question the short term gains of rapid chemically infused agriculture , especially the concerns raised by Dr. Al-Ameen.
    I repect your angst, but the least you should have stated are the pros and cons of chemical agriculture versus the Organic foods paradigm, CURRENTLY IN VOGUE.

  4. /

    DR AL-AMEEM:

    What you said about the extremely high death rate of the Farmers in Martinique is a known fact to individuals whose mind is universal. The statements made by the Doctor DASSAULT MIRAGE is also factual, and the Food Chain “Whole Foods” in the States specializes in the sale of food not tread with poisonous chemicals and pesticides which are known carcinogens. But individuals like this retarded Lucian calling himself NY, would know nothing of what the Doctor mentioned. These non-thinking Negroes like the one calling himself Citizen Kane go to NY, and do the same think they grew up doing, which is drinking rum and Carnival on Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn.

    The people Doctor DASSAULT MIRAGE speak of are informed Americans who are of the more sophisticated class, but don’t expect people like Kane, and NY to have a clue about what you are talking about. These Negroes go to New York to look for white prostitutes and bring them back to St. Lucia and think that makes them Caucasians like the white Jesus, but the game is over; Rick John Wayne, and Derek Walcott are excellent examples.

    1. “These non-thinking Negroes like the one calling himself Citizen Kane go to NY, and do the same think they grew up doing, which is drinking rum and Carnival on Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn.”
      ————————————————————————————————————
      It’s more than rum and carnival on Eastern Parkway. Infact, you forgot to mention that Citizen Kane finished high school in the United States; got his Associate Degree; then his Bachelor’s; passed all four parts of the CPA on his first try, and is gainfully employed with a large brokerage house on Wall Street.

      By the way, why are you so obsessed with Kane?

  5. ^
    ^
    ^
    ” the sale of foods not TREATED with poisonous chemicals and pesticides which are known carcinogens.”

    /

    /

  6. 2 WHO IT MAY……………..” CONSUMER”

    BOTH MY WIFE AND MYSELF ARE ANIMAL / VEGETABLE CERTIFY FARMERS WELL TRAIN IN THE USAGE OF THOSE DANGEROUS CHEMICALS
    WE RECORD EVERY DATE AND NAMES/DURATION / AMOUNT PER GALLON etc.
    EVEN THOSE WE USE ON VEG. HERE IN THIS COUNTRY ARE DEADLY IF NOT HANDLE AND STORE PROPERLY.
    THIS IS NO TIME FOR US TO USED POLITIC IN THIS VERY SERIOUS UNDERTAKING. NY THINK FOR JUST ONE SECOND WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO OUR YOUNG BANANA FARMERS WHO ARE THERE FOR THE MONEY AND DON’T CARE ABOUT THEIR OWN HEALTH AND THE HEALTH OF THE CONSUMER
    IT IS ON RECORD THAT MANY OF OUR LUCIAN FARMERS ARE IMPORTANT BECAUSE OF MISUSING /MISHANDLING SOME OF THOSE CHEMICALS.

    FOOD SAFETY IS EVERYBODY’S BUSINESS.
    BE SURE TO PUT WHAT YOU READ INTO PRACTICE TO HELP MAKE YOUR COUNTRY A SAFER PLACE.. (MAY I THEN ASK HOW MANY OF OUR FARMERS CARE TO READ THE CHEM LABIAL )?
    BAD AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES BY FARMERS CAN LEAD TO UNDESIRABLE CHANGES TO OUR ENVIRONMENT ( INCLUDING WATER, AIR, LAND, ANIMALS AND PEOPLE )
    PESTICIDES APPLIED TO YOUR CROPS CAN BE BLOWN BY WIND TO NEARBY FARMS AND AFFECT THE QUALITY OF CROPS ON THOSE FARMS. FARMERS MUST PAY ATTENTION TO THE WIND DIRECTION WHEN APPLYING PESTICIDES.
    THE USE OF UNSAFE WATER TO IRRIGATE PLANTS CAN AFFECT BOTH PLANTS AND HUMANS.
    REDUCE THE APPLICATION OF PESTICIDES ( SYNTHETIC CHEMICALS SUCH AS GRAMOXONE, MONOCROTOPHOS WHICH IS BANNED, KARATE ETC. )
    ” PLEASE GO TO THE LOCAL BUSINESS HOUSES AND U CAN PURCHASE THOSE BANNED CHEMICALS ”
    READ THE LABELED INSTRUCTION CAREFULLY BEFORE APPLYING PESTICIDES.

    CONSULT YOUR EXTENSION OFFICERS AT ALL TIMES BEFORE USING PESTICIDES ???

    I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THAT THOSE SO-CALL EXTENSION OFFICERS IN MANY FARM AREAS DO NOT CARE OR EXTINCT. ( THIS IS NO JOKE )

    GOOD PRACTICE SUCH AS READING THE LABELS WELL AND WEARING PROPER CLOTHING WHEN DEALING WITH PESTICIDES TO PROTECT YOUR HEALTH AND SAFETY.
    .

  7. CORRECTION: MANY OF OUR FARMERS ARE IMPOTENT BECAUSE OF MISUSING /MISHANDLING SOME OF THOSE CHEMICALS. ( NOT IMPORTANT ) ?

  8. DR. AL-AMEEN:

    You should have just said, “Many of the Farmers are like Rick John Wayne”, that would have told the whole story of “Chandel Maul” or is it Spaghetti, lol

    The difference is the Farmers became impotent from pesticide poisoning, but John Wayne’s impotency was a result of Steroid Abuse, leaving him an unstable Crack Head with uncontrollable fits of anger, and emotionally unstable.

    RICK WAYNE HATING ON BLACK MEN

    https://www.facebook.com/284538805083530/videos/vb.284538805083530/417677621769647/?type=2&theater

    /

    /

  9. So Dr.Al-AMEEN if you are so concerned about the young farmers and the people of St . Lucia why don’t you go out there and make a meaningful contribution you prefer to wait to see them fail lord have mercy what kind of person are you

  10. To all the shouters in this space, please stop shouting by using lower case letters. Not only is it distracting to read, but it shows you do not know common online etiquette. Please use you inside voice to be a part of this discussion by using lower case (again). You shout when you use CAPITAL LETTERS. Get it?
    I was on this site a few weeks ago and was appalled at how certain people attacked others simply for having a different viewpoint, and at the time I thought it was a one off occurrence. Well I’m back here again, and the same people are still attacking others for their opinion.
    And you wonder what’s wrong with St Lucia?
    Just because you have the loudest voice and you’re shouting does not mean that people take you seriously or even read your posts when they’re so filled with venom and hate.
    The color issue seems to resonate here, someone is always calling someone a derogatory name because of their skin color or what they say. Enough already!!! Let’s move on to another topic.
    You should be ashamed of yourselves for treating your fellow St Lucians that way. It’s bad enough that strangers do it when we’re in their country, but for you to do it also shows a lack of education, and knowledge of history.
    The country needs everyone to band together now to make it what is good for us, but some people would prefer to just complain behind an anonymous screen. I call bullshit on that. Put your money where your mouth is. If you know how to grow the banana economy then get involved in working toward a solution and don’t hide behind faux political rants which make no sense. Otherwise shit or get off the fecking pot. BTW fecking is not a typo – look it up under Irish words.

  11. Eating organic food is certainly better for us, since by law such food products must not have had any chemical applications. In industrialized countries, the law is applied but there are still some rogue players in the field. Organic is also sold at a substantially higher cost than other food products, such as GMO (genetically modified) and regular food.
    The general consensus is to buy organic for food products which cannot be peeled, such as grapes, and other soft fruit, and buy regular but wash and peel all the rest. Obviously at the end of the day, consumers will buy what their wallets can afford.
    Another option is to plant a personal garden to meet your basic needs, that way you are not as dependent on big food corporations who play fast and loose with your food supply.
    All grocery stores in North America sell both organic and non-organic foods. Whole Foods also – not every food product is organic, so please do not use Whole Foods as an example – you do not know what you are talking about. Far and wide to get organic food??? Do these people live in a food desert? I live in the ‘burbs in North America, and I have access to at least 20 supermarkets within 15-45 minutes of my house.

  12. To the administrator of this site:

    Yesterday I submitted a post about organic foods in response to the article about bananas. It is now no longer showing on the site. Where is it? What happened to it?

    To clarify – it was not offensive like some of the posts regularly posted, it was actually meant to be informative. So what happened? Why isn’t it up on the site. It was there yesterday.

    Please respond on this forum.
    Thank you

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