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St Lucia sets out to expand banana trade

The government of St Lucia says it is encouraged by the talks held with an established buyer on the possibility of using Antigua as a distribution hub for the sale of bananas to countries in the region.

Agriculture, Fisheries, Food Security and Rural Development Minister, Alfred Prospere: “Currently, we are moving between 2,000 and 2,500 [boxes] per week. But we have asked for the possibility of increasing it to 8,000 because we believe the opportunity exists for additional distribution to Antigua, St Kitts, St Thomas and St Maarten.”

Prospere had last year led a delegation in a bid to secure new and existing banana markets and, following the most recent research efforts by Export St Lucia and the National Fair Trade Organisation (NFTO), it landed a new market in Antigua with the first shipment of 460 boxes arriving in that Caribbean island at the end of last month.

He stated: “I applaud St Lucia’s farmers because the quality of the fruit exported was encouraging. Antigua has expressed interest in importing high quality bananas, as we have been doing for export to the United Kingdom. We need now to ensure that we work toward maintaining and improving that quality so that bananas can continue to be exported to the UK and other countries in the region.”

The minister said he is encouraged by the feedback with the “established buyer” in Antigua due to the high level of interest shown.


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