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Banana Growers’ Association to go

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Very soon, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Banana Growers Association will be no more.

Delivering the feature address at the 8th General Assembly of the Farmers of SVG Fair Trade Organisation Inc. at the Methodist Church Hall in Kingstown on Wednesday, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves announced the impending dissolution of the organization that oversaw the running of the industry for decades.{{more}}

The Prime Minister indicated that the move is being made to, among things, remedy declining volumes and values in the industry.

Dr. Gonsalves said that the operations of the Association would be undertaken by the Ministry of Agriculture and Windward Islands Farmers Association (WINFA).

“Some services will be undertaken by a banana unit of the Ministry of Agriculture, and WINFA will undertake production and marketing.”

He indicated that the Farmers’ Association will be responsible for the strategic thrust of the industry here, and employees of the SVGBA will be transferred to the agriculture ministry.

Prime Minister Gonsalves said that he expects the new arrangement will be confronted by challenges and difficulties, but these would be overcome in due time.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister announced that this country would be reaching out to Haiti, which is currently suffering a food crisis.

Dr. Gonsalves said that a ship loaded with desperately needed food, including rice, flour, medicine and other commodities will leave Port Kingstown soon.

Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere, has seen food prices skyrocket, which resulted in riots breaking out in a number of major cities.

A number of countries around the world, as well as the United Nations have made moves to send food to the country.

The Prime Minister said that his government would not sit by without helping a sister country in crisis.

Here at home, he indicated that he does not see a food crisis in this country now or in the future.

“I see food challenges.”

“Crisis occurs when there is no solution; you can have difficulties to be resolved. Weaknesses to be made into strengths.”(JJ)

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