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Farmers should diversify into areas outside of bananas says Caesar

Farmers should diversify into areas outside of bananas says Caesar


As the Ministry of Agriculture continues its thrust towards diversification, Minister Saboto Caesar says it is very important that the role women play in the process is appreciated.{{more}}

Recently, the Minister visited the Mesopotamia valley where he spoke briefly with Pamella Simon, a banana farmer who has diversified because her banana field was affected by the Black Sigatoka disease.

On her small diversified plot of land, Simon now grows carrots, tomatoes, sweet peppers, lettuce, chive and eggplants.

Commending the farmer for her efforts, Caesar said Simon’s actions are the sort of practices the ministry is requesting that other farmers adopt.

“This is the sort of production I was talking about. Where persons who are affected by the Black Sigatoka in their abandoned fields, that they must diversify into something outside of bananas for probably about two cycles, until we control the inoculum levels and they can replant bananas in those areas, once they get the green light,” he added.

Taking a break from attending to her vegetable farm to converse with the Minister, the farmer gave her views on the process.

“The diversification is going good so far but the banana farming was better,” she told Caesar.

“Ah does go in the market and sell them, but sometimes the sale is there and sometimes it ain’t there,” she stated.

The farmer also disclosed that once the banana industry has fully revived, she will be going back to planting bananas.

The discussions between Simon and Caesar proved beneficial as the Agriculture Minister told her that the possibility exists for her chives to be bought by Vincy Fresh.

Caesar explained that this is a part of the united initiative for an agricultural transformation which will be launched here soon.

He said the initiative will be a joint program between the private sector and the government as they work to develop agriculture and to produce more.

He said over the next twelve months, the focus will be on ensuring that agriculture contributes more to the Country’s Gross Domestic Product.(AA)