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Rising above those dead banana bodies

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Fri, Mar 23. 2012

Editor: It is often said that the worst situation brings out the best and sometimes worst in humanity. It is with this concept that continued interest is placed on the unfolding events of the current banana industry.{{more}} One wonders what is beyond the horizon as we watch the final destruction stage of those diseased ridden banana plants throughout the rural communities. Among other things, it can be said that our resilience to negative economic and social situations is truly pushed to another level. Only time with judge our true response.

As we rise above the proverbial blaming game and dead banana bodies, my heart goes out to the farmers who have lost their livelihood and cultural practices as a result of the decline in the banana industry. Despite this, in the quest for financial freedom, farmers turned to alternative crop production such as dasheen, only to find the local market flooded. Others have stopped farming and have taken up jobs in other sectors. Of course, others were not so lucky. It will be interesting to find out: What if any, negative impacts the failed banana industry has on poverty level in SVG?

While we look at the above mentioned question, there is a suggestion to be placed on the table for public discussion. What if some of the farms are used to start a national poultry industry with the purposes of providing food security and cheap fertilizer – even for the banana industry? Will this rival the proposed cocoa industry? No! It will just complement it! How does this sound? Imagine farmers taking birds every week to a processing plant, instead of banana. And our fertilizer bill reduction will be significant. For sure we will have our chicken to eat with any left over banana!

Neri James

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