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WIBDECO chief urges diversification

WIBDECO chief urges diversification


Head of the Windward Island Banana Development and Export Company (WIBDECO) has called on banana farmers to toughen up, if they are to survive in the ever changing environment.{{more}}

St. Lucian born Chief Executive Officer Bernard Cornibert, speaking on Tuesday at the Methodist Church Hall, at the 8th General Assembly Meeting of the Farmers of SVG Fair Trade Organization Inc, is advising farmers to grow other crops along with bananas.

“If you are a monocrop farmer, you are at a greater risk than if you are diversified. Because when things begin to go badly with one crop at least you have a buffer, so my advice to you is to diversify.”

“I am not here to ‘mammaguy’ you. I am not here to tell you what you want to hear. I am not frightening you to go away; I am trying to toughen you up.

“We are not asking you to get out of bananas. There are opportunities for us to do other things.”

Cornibert said that WIBDECO is attempting to lead by example by taking a strategic policy to diversify as a company, since it has realized that they cannot remain a mono crop business.

He stated that its objective is to push agricultural diversification.

“I am encouraging you to think agriculture than to think narrowly banana.”

“We will partner with organizations to ensure that whatever you grow, we will be there with you to try to market this product.”

Cornibert blamed the decline of the banana industry on a number of factors, including the failure of farmers in the region to change quickly enough with the times.

He urged the farmers to embrace the positive changes that are taking place in the industry, and opined that the irrational reluctance to adapt has caused the competitors to advance while the region suffered the consequences.

“We can ignore it and become like the dinosaurs and die, or embrace the change and say ‘What can I do in a changing environment to survive?’”(JJ)