Tai­wan and Saint Lu­cia ink New Agri­cul­ture Co­op­er­a­tion Ac­tion Plan

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

The agri­cul­tural co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Saint Lu­cia and Tai­wan en­tered a new phase as an ac­tion plan to up­grade Saint Lu­cia’s agri­cul­tural sup­ply chain was inked on Wed­nes­day, Novem­ber 21, 2018.

H. E. Dou­glas Shen, Tai­wan’s Am­bas­sador to Saint Lu­cia, and the Hon­ourable Ezechiel Joseph, Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture, Fish­eries, Phys­i­cal Plan­ning, Nat­u­ral Re­sources and Co-op­er­a­tives put their sig­na­ture to the “En­hanc­ing the ef­fi­ciency of pro­duc­tion-dis­tri­bu­tion sup­ply chain in fruit and veg­etable sec­tor Project” doc­u­ment on be­half of their re­spec­tive gov­ern­ments.

As well as im­prov­ing the sup­ply chain, this new project en­com­passes cli­mate change adap­tion, pro­tected struc­ture cultivation and posthar­vest pro­cess­ing and pack­ag­ing tech­niques. By es­tab­lish­ing a sta­ble sup­ply chain and as­sist­ing farm­ers’ co­op­er­a­tives de­velop a cor­po­rate-like pro­duc­tion and mar­ket­ing struc­ture, the project also aims to in­crease the vol­ume of lo­cal pro­duce sold to do­mes­tic mar­kets.

At the sign­ing cer­e­mony, Am­bas­sador Dou­glas Shen said that Tai­wan and Saint Lu­cia have worked to­gether on the Fruit and Veg­etable Demon­stra­tion and Ex­ten­sion Project-Phase II in the past three years, which has steadily ful­filled the goal of rais­ing lo­cal farm­ers’ com­pet­i­tive­ness and their in­come. He ex­pects the new project to greatly en­hance the field-to-mar­ket con­nec­tion for them by es­tab­lish­ing such mech­a­nisms as the agri­cul­tural in­for­ma­tion sys­tem, farmer cer­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem and pro­duce trace­abil­ity sys­tem.

Hon. Ezechiel Joseph ex­pressed grat­i­tude to the gov­ern­ment of Tai­wan for its con­tri­bu­tions in as­sist­ing the agri­cul­tural de­vel­op­ment of Saint Lu­cia. He ex­pects the new project to greatly re­duce the need to im­port for­eign pro­duce, now to­tal­ing over US$8 mil­lion. He also ex­pressed con­fi­dence in lo­cal farm­ers’ fore­see­able abil­ity to sup­ply veg­eta­bles and fruits all year round via the es­tab­lish­ment of an agri­cul­tural in­tel­li­gence.

The new project will be im­ple­mented over a three-year pe­riod. In the first year, ma­jor fo­cus will be put on en­hanc­ing the ef­fi­cacy of the pro­duc­tion and mar­ket­ing sup­ply chain. There­after at­ten­tion will be paid to cli­mate change adap­tion, pro­tected struc­ture cultivation and post-har­vest pro­cess­ing and pack­ag­ing tech­niques.

The new phase of agri­cul­tural co­op­er­a­tion project will be jointly im­ple­mented by the Tai­wan Tech­ni­cal Mis­sion and Saint Lu­cia’s Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture.

Am­bas­sador Shen hap­pily giv­ing a speech dur­ing the sign­ing cer­e­mony.

L-R: Min­is­ter Ezechiel Joseph, Tai­wan Am­bas­sador Dou­glas Shen and Herod Stanis­las wit­ness an­other agri­cul­tural agree­ment.

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