On August 9, 2022, Minister Prospere of St. Lucia reported the positive changes in the local banana industry. The year 2000 was the last time St. Lucia could export their banana crops to the UK due to several unfortunate factors. This export halt directly impacted 600 farmers and the livelihoods of the people of St. Lucia. That is why local government officials were inclined to search for a solution to the crisis.
In the August address, Prospere was quoted as having stated the following:
“I am pleased to report that we have recommenced the shipment of bananas to the UK for the past nine weeks. To date we were able to restore production levels to our contractual obligations of 2000 boxes a week as of the end of July 2022. The hard work and commitment of our farmers, field officers, the Banana Task Force and the NFTO has paid off.”
Yes, this highly competitive market is a significant industry for St. Lucia, but it comes with its challenges. You see, the banana export industry was hit hard by the increases in fuel prices, making shipping a challenge. Since the bananas took 21 days to reach the UK, they arrived with quality issues. Therefore, other shipping methods are being explored to ensure a timely and quality assured delivery. And that is good news for the farmers of St. Lucia.
Furthermore, the Minister encourages the locals to eat more locally grown bananas as another way to support the local farmers. In the program Agriculture on the Move, Prospere stated the following.
“Aside from children, we can do the same for the prison, the hospitals you know and really increase consumption of our bananas.”
The people of the Caribbean, as well as the governments, are working diligently to improve the health and welfare of the locals. Bananas could play a large part in improving the health of the islanders. In case you did not know, here are some benefits the body bananas provide—in their own packaging too!
Heading to St. Lucia on vacation? Why don’t you grab a banana or two while you are there?!
CITED: StLuciaTimes.com, Caribbean.loopnews.com, Caribbeannewsglobal.com, Webmd.com, Helthline.com