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Taiwan donates $1.5 million to the Banana Industry

Taiwan donates $1.5 million to the Banana Industry

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As they battle a three pronged attack, namely the European trade regime, Moko and now leaf spot disease, the banana industry continues to get the assistance needed to make it fight against the odds.{{more}}

Last Monday, Taiwanese Ambassador Jack Cheng presented $1.5 million dollars to assist the cause. He said that he recognizes that the banana industry is more than just a crop to this country, but rather a culture, a way of life. Therefore, his country is glad to assist in any way it could.

“No matter how advanced a country (gets), it cannot go without agriculture,’ Ambassador Cheng also said, as he stressed the significance of the efforts to fight for the survival of the banana industry.

Dr Gonsalves explained that unlike the special $4 million which was given by Taiwan last year towards the fight against Moko, this $1.5 million is part of the unassigned portion of the general funds donated by Taiwan to this country.

He explained that the money, in addition to the $300,000 donated by the Windward Island Banana Development and Exporting Company Limited (WIBDECO), will be used to deal with the leaf spot situation.

He, however, explained that $150,000 will be channeled to the Arrowroot industry, while another $100,000 will be used to assist farmers who are getting into other crops as part of the national Food Production Plan.

Minister of Agriculture Montgomery Daniel told reporters that he is happy that the government is able to specifically help the banana and arrowroot farmers.

He said that the future is looking up for the arrowroot industry, as the price being paid per pound by this country’s United States importer has increased from US$2.40 to US$3 over the last year or so.

He also said that with the help of a Cuban engineer, the mechanism of Arrowroot cultivation is going well.(KJ)

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