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Taiwan and Saint Lucia work together to enhance fruit and vegetable market access

The Taiwan Technical Mission in Saint Lucia and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Physical Planning, Natural Resources and Co-operatives met with farmers, hotels, and the Saint Lucia Marketing Board (SLMB) for reducing vegetable and fruit importation on the 3rd and 9th March recently.

The Enhancement of the efficiency of production-distribution supply chains in the fruit and vegetable sector project, more commonly known as the 7-crop project, has been collaborating and extending to different stakeholders to execute since 2019. One of the main objectives of this project is to have a 30% increase in volume of these agricultural products sold by farmers to hotels and supermarket. The focal crops include watermelon, cantaloupe/honeydew, pineapple, tomato, cabbage, lettuce, and bell pepper. In this light the project staff has hosted a number of meetings with the respective stakeholders.

This project provides production technical support on weather resilience technology. To date there has been the introduction of a new technology; the mini greenhouse for cultivating cantaloupe & honeydew (for consistent production), the development of a production schedule calendar for the country for the 7 focal crops, and various training sessions. An additional step now is hosting meeting with farmers and hotels to discuss production and contractual marketing as a continued effort to meet the project’s objectives.

With that being stated, a meeting was held with farmers from Region Four on Tuesday 3rd March 2020 at the Anse Ger Agricultural Station. Over Seventy-five farmers were in attendance. The meeting was held as part of the ongoing progress of the project to impart knowledge to the farmers about the project; hold discussions relating to increased production and marketing of agricultural produce.

On March 9th, the project team engaged with the Saint Lucia Marketing Board and hotel purchasing manager to ensuring that the farmers have marketing opportunities for their produce through contractual agreements. Mr. Kemuel Jn Baptiste (Chief Extension Officer from Ministry of Agriculture), Adline Eudovic (Project Coordinator), Bartholomew Donovan (Purchasing Manager from SLMB) Mario Cheng (Chief of Taiwan Technical Mission) and Ai-Lin Chen (Marketing Specialist from TTM) were attendance during these meetings.

Other meetings of this magnitude will continue to be held with farmers in the not too distant future; as they are an integral stakeholder in this project’s success.

Source: St. Lucia News Online

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