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Farmers being told to wait on the green light before replanting

Farmers being told to wait on the green light before replanting

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Farmers whose fields were severely affected by the Black Sigatoka disease and were abandoned have been advised to await the green light from the Ministry of Agriculture etc before they begin to replant.{{more}}

Speaking at his second press conference since being appointed Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar said on Monday that he was informed by head of the banana unit Sylvester Vanloo that there are many farmers who have already gone ahead and have started cultivating bananas before the ministry has given the green light.

“I do not want anxiety to triumph prudence, and I would also want the farmers to follow the lead from the Ministry of Agriculture,” Caesar told the media.

He further noted that during his communication with Vanloo, he was advised that since some of the farmers have started the replanting process, a contingency plan should be put in place.

According to the Minister, this plan will only be for farmers who have already started to replant. He also assured listeners that field officers from the ministry will visit those areas to spray the fields.

“The green light will not be given for the cultivation of bananas in these areas until the end of May,” he stated.

“Yes, there are some farmers who have already started to replant, and most of these farmers, some of them were not affected by the disease. So it’s okay for farmers to replant from here on, once your field was not affected severely by the Black Sigatoka.”

In an effort to ensure that farmers adhere to the ministry’s guidelines, Caesar said that his ministry will beef up their presence in all banana producing areas because “we in the Ministry of Agriculture want to ensure that we take the lead in guiding the farmers.”

“We do not want farmers to be acting on their own, and we do not want farmers to throw caution to the wind, and we know that it is a very anxious period for farmers because the green light is what the farmers are waiting on,” he added.

For fields which were not affected severely by the disease, the green light was given by Vanloo on Monday that the replanting process could begin.

However, for those farmers who were affected, the advice is that they continue to deleaf the banana plants and do ready application of manure, and this will ensure that healthy plants can be produced, according to Caesar.(AA)

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