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“I only save an orange tree” says farmer

“I only save an orange tree” says farmer

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The banana industry was dealt a further devastating blow with the passing of Hurricane Tomas, leaving some banana farmers to ponder on the sector’s future.{{more}}

“Agriculture was in a bad position, now it’s going to be worse,” Susan Thomas-Simon, banana farmer of Georgetown told SEARCHLIGHT.

The woman said that this has been, by far, the worse devastation she has witnessed in the 21 years she has been involved in the banana industry.

“I have seen many storms before, where bananas were blown down, but now everything from my field was totally devastated,” she continued.

“The only thing I saved was an orange tree,” she continued.

Simon’s farm comprises two plots at Rabacca Farms amounting to seven and a half acres.

The distraught farmer said that there were a lot of bananas that were to be harvested, but now it is all gone.

She spoke of the hard work put in, especially now that there was greater demand placed on farmers to improve quality.

Elvin ‘Bristol’ Simmons said that of the three acres of land on which he cultivates bananas, he recorded a 100 per cent loss.

Simmons, frustrated, said that his farm within recent times was doing well, averaging 90 and 100 boxes per week.

Although he was in despair, Simmons was counting his blessings that there was no further damage other than a coconut tree which fell on the roof of his house at Overland.

The 63-year-old shared the sentiments earlier expressed by Simon, that Hurricane Tomas was the worst natural disaster he had ever experienced.

“I think I have seen everything, but this is by far the worst I have ever witnessed,” he said.

Prime Minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves in his address to the nation said that it was estimated that some 2,180 acres of bananas valued at $22.2 million and 1,242 acres of plantains valued at $14.4 million were wiped out. (DD)