Banana farmer (FairTrade photo)
Banana farmer (FairTrade photo)

Core banana and plantain farmers will receive support through tools, fertilizers and soil amendments to assist them with general husbandry exercises and increase production and profitability.

From June 1st, 2023, farmers will be provided with assistance based on their cultivated acreages and production levels through the World Bank-funded intervention, Emergency Agricultural Livelihoods and Climate Resilience Project of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Blue and Green Economy.

Farmers will receive packages from two categories: two acres but less than three acres under active cultivation will receive an incentive package valued at $5,400, and those with three acres but less than six acres will receive packages worth $10,800. In addition, every farmer will receive ten bags of agricultural white lime per each acre cultivated and two packets of Diathane.

Project Manager Kervin Stephenson reiterated that the industry presents an excellent opportunity for local farmers. Moreover, cultivating these national priority crops is critical to safeguarding Dominica's food security and contributing to foreign exchange earnings.

Against this background, the Ministry has aligned the production of these crops with the ongoing Eat Local, Live Long' initiative.

According to Stephenson, the sector has already shown its ability to transform the lives of rural families, and this injection of resources will enable farmers to advance themselves and the nation further.

"With the resources provided by the Government of Dominica and through the Ministry's policy directive, we continue to provide stability to the sector and through the equitable distribution of supplies, the structure of the Banana and Plantain Unit and other units within the Ministry will make advancements."

The Government of Dominica remains committed to strengthening the institutional capacity to facilitate the increase in island banana and plantain production levels.

The Director of Agriculture, Ricky Brumant, reiterated this undertaking at a one-day consultation with over 70 core banana and plantain farmers at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium Conference Room.