PRESS RELEASE – THE Laborie Co-operative Credit Union (LCCU), in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank, will be implementing a climate smart agricultural project to the benefit of farmers and fishers of the south of St. Lucia.
The project will address the exposure of farmers to climate risks. Despite its climatic focus, the project will also address organizational and marketing problems in an effort to develop an integrated approach to build climate resilience and transform the lives of farmers in the south of St. Lucia.
The project, known as SABLE (Sustainable Agribusiness for Laborie and Environs), will be implemented through the Black Bay Farmers Co-operative (BBFC) and the Laborie Fishers and Consumers Co-operative (LFCC).
The primary objectives of SABLE are to:
1. Expand the opportunities for more sustainable livelihood in agriculture within the context of climate change.
2. Develop new markets and leverage existing markets for agri-producers.
3. Setting up of an insurance facility to provide farmers with insurance products to protect their investments and loan liabilities.
4. Enable BBFC and LFCC become viable co-operatives and serve as organisational resources to fishers and agri-business entrepreneurs.
5. Increase the productivity and reliability of agro-production.
SABLE recognizes and addresses the fact that changes in traditional farming practices must be accompanied by new market opportunities and that such market opportunities are most efficiently and effectively accessed through participation in a demand driven yet producer-centred organization that can function as the trusted intermediary between large numbers of independent small scale agri-producers and commercial buyers.
Laborie Cooperative Credit Union serves as that trusted intermediary. The Credit Union has a strong commitment to building sustainable community economies and so in this case LCCU functions both as a trusted and credible change agent as well as financier in the transition of the agricultural and fishing communities of the south.