SVG

Opposition to unveil banana plan after Carnival

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – The opposition New Democratic Party is close to finalising its proposals “to save the banana industry” here and will release it after Carnival.

“It is not a fly by night programme. It is going to take a significant amount of money and it has to have some income support for farmers. It also will require a lot of other activities,” Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace said during his weekly radio programme on Monday.

The local banana industry entered a new phase of the tailspin when Hurricane Tomas destroyed almost 99 per cent of banana cultivation in 2010 and Ministry of Agriculture failed to spray against disease as the sector was recuperating last year.

Eustace said that the first draft of the document is being prepared with the intention of rehabilitating about 4,000 acres of fruit.

“That may sound [like] a lot to people but it really is not a lot of acres but it can help to put our industry back on some sort of footing,” said Eustace, a banana farmer.

“The figure that we see required for that is very significant indeed. I wont bother to give the figure here this morning,” he said and added that a smaller programme of 1,000 or 2,000 acres may have to be considered and gradually expanded over time.

“Because we can’t just sit by and let the industry die,” Eustace said.

“One of the biggest difficulties you are going to have in terms of raising money, … we are not going to get blamed for Hurricane Tomas … when we approach the donors. We are going to get blamed for not spraying the bananas, which is the government’s fault,” he said.

He further stated that this makes it more difficult to secure monies from donors.

“When a hurricane blows your way, it is a different matter you know, the donor has a different attitude, it is an act of God, you couldn’t control it. But when you are going to argue now you have to admit to the fact that you did not spray and that is going to affect the amount of money you are going to get for the project.”

Eustace said that the European Union might be the best option for seeking support for a banana revitalisation programme.

He, however, said “… part of the weakness of our position is that we, the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines through its minister and Ministry of Agriculture did not spray the bananas. You can’t present that as no argument of any strength.”

According to NDP estimates, the banana industry needs about EC$111 million — 960,000 sacks — in fertiliser for 4,000 acres of banana a year.

He said that the government’s core farmers programme only reaches 398.5 acres and has 144 farmers involved.

“I intend to support any programme that is going to help with the reintroduction of bananas. It is the only commodity where you are going to get a weekly or fortnightly income in the agricultural sector. And people have to live on that while they try and develop other commodities,” Eustace said.

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Discussion

6 thoughts on “Opposition to unveil banana plan after Carnival

  1. eustace is a real monkey in truth.What’s his obsession with bananas?? Is that all he think SVG is capable of producing?

    Posted by Jason | July 3, 2012, 09:24
  2. JASON, we are very good at producing idiots and liars, you are a prime example.

    Remember I told you I was putting some stuff on Latin American speaking countries newsblogs, well I mentioned about you and VINCYPOWA and your snurging and cottaging antics. There was 147 Latins asking how they can contact you, so your becoming famous, or is it infamous?

    Posted by Peter | July 3, 2012, 17:17
  3. Hold on Peter, Jason probably has something else besides banana for SVG farmers, because Ralph’s obsession with tourism does little for farmers and all of SVG. The airport is not going to bring a steady stream of tourists to SVG. Meanwhile people have to eat and so do the tourists. So where will they get the food supply from? Agriculture must be part of any plan for tourism.

    Posted by Vere | July 5, 2012, 04:02
  4. WHO EVER THIS JASON ,IF THAT,S REALLY HIS NAME HE HAS NO CLASS , HE THINK,S WHEN HE TRY TO BELITTLE EUSTACE ,IT WILL MAKE HIM LOOK ANY BETTER, GOD MADE US IN HIS OWN IMAGINE AND LIKENESS, REMEMBER GOD IS WATCHING AND LISTENING, YOU JASON.

    Posted by grampa | July 5, 2012, 23:05
    • Jason comrade will agree and shake your hand , I do not know your race but it is exactly how your comrade see black people, do forget he did a study on the race

      Posted by nolly prosque | July 7, 2012, 09:34
  5. No matter how industrially diversified our country becomes (or any country for that matter) there will always be a need for agriculture, unless it is absolutely not possible for food to grow there. SVG has to be selfsufficient when it comes to providing food for its people. Banana is one of such agricultial products that not only provides food for the population, but also income for many. Whatever the agricultual product may be, if per chance we have a little, or a lot, to export, the merried. To criticize agriculture, or as in this case – banana- as did Jason is not only a lack of foresight, but also wisdom. So then the question becomes, who then, does he expect to feed a nation that can’t feed itself? Now, be sure you taste your words before you spit them out of your mouth or keyboard.

    Posted by DWells | July 7, 2012, 21:27

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