Letters & Opinion

Solution Found to Ensure Compliance to International Banana Quality Standards

For years, a vital tool used in the banana industry to ensure international quality standards are met have not been available on island to local farmers.   Apart from being costly it has been difficult for local farmers to source resulting sometimes in the harvesting and shipping of bananas that are above or under the required specification.

Taiwan Technical Mission specialist Johnson Wu noticed the aforementioned situation and found the solution. Using 3D printing technology, reproducing banana calipers locally is now possible. With the Cooperation of a Lucian 3D printing company, the Taiwan Technical Mission were able to produce and provide all banana farmers on island with calipers at a fair price. To date, 500 calipers have been delivered to banana farmers and counting.

This essential tool ensures uniformity and adherence to the requirements of Global GAP certification standards. The instrument is used to measure the width of the banana fingers to ensure that the international quality, grade and standards are met and adhered to. The caliper also help farmers avoid harvesting fruits which are too thin, thereby reducing wastage at the farm level.

The Taiwan Technical Mission and the Banana Productivity Improvement Project (BPIP) in St. Lucia have been assisting banana farmers to increase productivity, reduce production cost as well as providing stable source of fertilizers and chemicals. They will continue to assist Saint Lucia farmers to develop sustainable agriculture.

Any banana farmer who has not gotten the caliper yet is welcomed to contact the BPIP extension officer in the corresponding Region.

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