Increase in banana production anticipated

first_img Share Tweet 328 Views   no discussions Share Sharing is caring!center_img LocalNews Increase in banana production anticipated by: Dominica Vibes News – November 27, 2014 Share President of the National Fair Trade Organization, Charles Watty is predicting an increase in banana production here for the year 2015.While Watty admits that Dominica’s banana production might not return to its “glory days”, he told a strategic planning meeting to discuss the revitalization of the banana and plantain sector at the Botanic Gardens on Wednesday, 26 November 2014, “we can get somewhere”.“We already have started our rehabilitation and total replanting process. To date we have 237 acres totally replanted, and we have 67 acres replanting,” Mr Watty said.Watty further informed that the target is to export five thousand (5000) boxes of bananas weekly by the first quarter of 2015. “At present we are at an all-time low with a slight increase last week of 150 boxes”.Watty also made reference to a WINFAR CLAC program that should come on stream in the first quarter of 2015. Under that program, he said, Dominica’s budget is US $822,756.00.“The fertilizer part is 452,000 dollars and black Sigatoka 256,500.00, with a total of 43,700.00 UDS dollars. These are all in the effort to expand and to increase production of the banana sector,” Watty explained.He said there is a component of this program that will involve training in agriculture and an exchange of visits to Costa Rica “so that farmers could visit Costa Rica to see the practices they have”.President of the National Fair Trade organization of Dominica Mr. Charles WattyHe also revealed that under the BAM project a few acres of banana will be established in Castle Bruce and Calibishie. “Twenty farmers will each be given five acre plots. Basically our aim at the end of next year with no disaster at all we anticipate a recovery of the banana industry to be in the region of about 6000-7000 boxes weekly”. “We know that Black Sigatoka has been a challenge for farmers and we are working together with the Ministry of Agriculture to see how we can have more frequent cycles so that the investment the farmers made and the investment that the organization in itself made to the farms, that we can at least see a total control on the Black Sigatoka.”Mr Watty said he is very optimistic about the increase in banana production as a lot of investment has gone into the sector.“We believe that based on these investments and if you work with the right set of farmers, I believe we will reach somewhere,” Watty said.last_img