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WIBDECO ready to help with leaf spot

WIBDECO  ready to help with leaf spot

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The outbreak of leaf spot disease in this country should only affect the banana industry for a few weeks, says a Windward Island Banana Development and Export Company (WIBDECO) official.{{more}}

According to Dr Errol Reid, who is the Director of Technical Services for the company, while the leaf spot disease has the potential to cause millions of dollars in loss, not to mention a smear to the reputation of bananas from the Windward Islands, he doesn’t expect the situation in St Vincent and the Grenadines to get out of hand.

Dr Reid said that unlike what was the case in a neighbouring Windward island country, which he did not name, the agricultural authorities in this country have moved quickly to control and eradicate the disease, which augurs well for a swift return to normalcy.

“Once we could get rid of the severely affected plants, we can nip the situation in the bud,” Dr Reid said.

“It is clear that the Ministry of Agriculture has taken hold of the situation…this is not the type of situation any one will like to see extend over any period of time,’ he added.

Dr Reid also indicated that WIBDECO will offer some financial assistance to farmers who have lost produce because of the problem. He, however, suggested that some of the fruit, which may not be suitable for export to the United Kingdom, can be diverted to the local and regional market, as a stop gap measure.

He, however, stressed the importance of putting the support mechanisms in place, including the proper banana cultivating practices, so as to ensure that the problem does not recur.

“There was a time when St Vincent and the Grenadines had the best control of leaf spot in the Windward Islands…WIBDECO looks forward to the day when we could say yes, we are in St Vincent,” Dr Reid said.

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