Jean: We will continue to fight
June 11, 2004

Jean: We will continue to fight

Stakeholders of the banana industry within the Caribbean region are facing a period of shifting fortunes and glorious uncertainties.
This was the view expressed by Ignatius Jean, St. Lucia’s Minister of Agriculture, as he delivered remarks at the start of the International Banana Conference here Tuesday. Jean was very critical of conferences held by stakeholders in the banana industry, in times gone by. {{more}}He said while they were supposed to be held along the lines of sustainable development most of the times these meetings are “sustainable conferences”.
He appealed to the participants to become more pragmatic, get things done for the banana growers in a realistic way and continue to sustain the livelihood of the farming communities so that social order and social peace may be maintained.
“We will continue the fight because I believe we can do it,” Jean told the packed Methodist Church Hall.
He appealed to the conference to face the fact that the industry is not what it used to be in the 80s; however he was of the opinion that an industry can be maintained.
The youthful minister was very critical of leaders across the region who continue to make people believe that the industry will be the same as it was in the 1980s and 90s.
“It will not be, so we must get that out of the minds of the people and get them to shape up and to make the changes that are necessary,” said Jean.