Am­bas­sador Mou of the Re­pub­lic of China (Tai­wan) vis­its Ba­nana Farm­ers in North­ern Re­gions

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

On Thurs­day, 16 June, 2016 ba­nana farm­ers in the north­ern re­gions of Saint Lu­cia were graced with a visit by H.E. Ray Mou, Am­bas­sador of the Re­pub­lic of China (Tai­wan) to St. Lu­cia. The visit was ar­ranged by the Project Man­ager of the Black Si­ga­toka Man­age­ment Project (BSMP), Mr. Vin­cent Yang, and Project Co­or­di­na­tor, Mr. Martin Sat­ney. The team was ac­com­pa­nied by a corps of tech­ni­cal of­fi­cers of the Black Si­ga­toka Man­age­ment Unit (BSMU).

Am­bas­sador Mou noted that the pur­pose of the visit was to have a face-to-face dis­cus­sion with ba­nana farm­ers at the field level and to know bet­ter the progress and achieve­ments made to date un­der the BSMP and, more im­por­tantly, to un­der­stand the po­ten­tial ex­pan­sion ca­pa­bil­ity of the ba­nana farm­ers.

The vis­it­ing party held open talks with lo­cal ba­nana farm­ers who ar­tic­u­lated their ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the timely and con­tin­u­ing sup­port pro­vided by the Gov­ern­ment of Tai­wan. Also, they high­lighted the sev­eral is­sues af­fect­ing their busi­ness, in­clud­ing the need of mar­ket­ing in­for­ma­tion. This year Tai­wan will con­trib­ute EC$2.2 mil­lion to help St. Lu­cia in pre­vent­ing the ba­nana Black Si­ga­toka dis­ease.

Am­bas­sador Mou vis­ited farm­ers in Re­gions 2 (Babon­neau and en­vi­rons), Re­gion 8 (De­g­los, Crown­lands and en­vi­rons) and Re­gion 7 (Roseau Val­ley). He is ex­pected to con­tinue such farm vis­its to Re­gion 3 (Mabouya Val­ley and en­vi­rons), Re­gion 4 (Mi­coud) and Re­gion 5 (Vieux Fort North ar­eas).

Farm­ers an­tic­i­pate that the Gov­ern­ment of Tai­wan will sus­tain the sup­port to Saint Lu­cia’s ba­nana in­dus­try as a whole, to en­able the con­sol­i­da­tion of the progress and ac­com­plish­ments made thus far, and to help in the drive to­wards in­creas­ing farm pro­duc­tiv­ity and ex­ports on a sus­tain­able ba­sis.

Am­bas­sador Mou (left) on one of the farms last week.

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