August 24, 2007

First phase of Moko control to end soon

The first phase in the Moko Disease Management and Control programme will come to an end on August 30.

The control programme conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries sought to destroy all banana, plantain and other crops affected by the Moko Disease. A management protocol for the areas treated is being implemented alongside the major programme for replanting.{{more}}

According to a release from the Ministry of Agriculture, this replanting phase is an important and critical one in the control of the disease. It is slated to start around the middle of September, and a number of measures will be taken to ensure that the Moko disease is not transferred into the newly replanted areas.

Among these, any farmer desirous of replanting will do so under the strict guidance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, in collaboration with the Banana Growers Association. An application form will have to be filled out and the farm inspected and certified before planting.

On no occasion should any farmer attempt to replant in any area unknown to the Agricultural Authorities with plants or suckers taken from any field whether or not it was known to have been affected by the Moko Disease. Any such planting could lead to the destruction of the field.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, along with the Banana Growers Association are presently the only authorities that will conduct the replanting of banana in St.Vincent and the Grenadines.

The release advises that preparations are in place for the acquisition of new locations for the replanting activities and for the supply of clean, healthy banana plants. All farmers are asked to contact the nearest agricultural stations for further advice.

Farmers are also asked to continue reporting any new sightings of the Moko Disease on farms.