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Ministry finds no cash crop to replace banana industry

Ministry finds no cash crop to replace banana industry


Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar says he does not want anyone to misinterpret the ministry’s efforts at diversification to mean an exit from the banana industry.{{more}}

Caesar told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday that his comments are in response to “critics” who say his ministry “is not coming straight and say there is no coming back for banana.

“Some persons are saying banana is dead and we’re (the Ministry of Agriculture) trying to persuade persons to plant other commodities as replacement.

“That’s not so,” Caesar said.

The banana industry has a critical role to play in building a sustainable agricultural sector, he further stated.

“However, amidst our needs, our urge and our zest to rebuild the banana industry after Hurricane Tomas, black sigatoka and the moco diseases, we also have to look at issues and possibilities of diversification…

“It’s a diversification around bananas,” he explained.

Caesar said that studies by the Ministry of Agriculture have not identified a cash crop to replace banana.

The ministry is going to be steadfast and resolute towards the push for advancing the sustainability of the banana industry, “even in these trying times,” Caesar further said.

“In fact, the farmers have actually joined the process and are leading the process in many ways. And they are realizing that even though there are other commodities that they can diversify into, they are still sticking to bananas. So, it’s all power to the peoples,” the minister stated.

Since the shipment to the United Kingdom recommenced of in April, 25,785 cartons of banana were exported, generating $514,340. (AA)