Palletisation Plant to be built
August 27, 2004

Palletisation Plant to be built

As changes continue within the banana industry, efforts continue to give the once vital export crop a sense of value.
If things go according to plans, a Palletisation Plant will be built at La Croix in the next seven months.
The structure, estimated to cost just about $2.5 million, is slated to take 26 weeks to build. {{more}}
Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Girlyn Miguel, along with Les Grant, general manager of the Banana Growers’ Association, and Sibert Liverpool, on behalf of Sibli Construction Limited, signed the contract for the construction last Tuesday, August 17.
The new building is expected to improve the quality of the nation’s banana supplies in that it will reduce the amount of handling for the fruit. When the produce leaves the La Croix Reception and Palletisation Plant, it will head straight for the boat at Kingstown without having to undergo any more grading process.
Miguel, parliamentary representative for Marriaqua in which La Croix is located, referred to it as a moment of “joy for us in agriculture and for farmers”, when she spoke at the signing ceremony.
Miguel pointed to the benefits of the new arrangement and cited reduced transport cost as another factor in the drive to enhance returns from the vital commodity.
Work is expected to start in September, but Liverpool was cautious about completing the project on time. He underlined difficulties in getting some supplies from abroad and noted changes in the weather pattern as possible reasons for a delay.
He was happy to be offered another government project and expressed the view that his building of a similar facility at Langley Park might have influenced the authorities to offer him another contract.
BGA General Manager Les Grant said he was happy that the project was taking off with a three cent increase in prices to banana farmers. Grant used the opportunity, however, to appeal to workers in the banana industry for greater productivity so as to ensure the nation’s prosperity.
He noted that even with the industry’s decline. “We cannot give it up.”
Kenny Baker, from the Banana Growers Trust Administration, outlined that other products will be processed at the new plant.
Another facility is earmarked for the North Central district of Belle Vue, as well as a means for improving the banana product for farmers on the leeward side with an outlet at the Campden Park Container Port.