March 19, 2010
SVG to get assistance in fight against Black Sigatoka

St.Vincent and the Grenadines is to receive assistance for the control of the Black Sigatoka, the fungal disease currently affecting banana production.{{more}}

This assistance will be had from the Banana Producers’ Groups of Guadeloupe and Martinique, which benefits from INTERREG. INTERREG is an European Union funded project that assists European regions in the formation of partnerships that work together on common projects, sharing knowledge and experience in the development of new solution to economic, social and environmental challenges.

In June 2009, WINFA participated in the launching of the “Caribbean Sustainable Banana Project”, funded through INTERREG and was able this week to host a delegation from the producer groups of Martinique and Guadeloupe.

According to reports, the groups are prepared to give assistance in the control of the Black Sigatoka through the following:

1. Purchasing of the fungicide and spray-tex oil used in the control program
2. Assist with the provision of a helicopter and pilot for aerial spraying
3. To facilitate the attendance of 3 local persons at a regional consultation on the management of Black Sigatoka to be held in St. Lucia on 10th March.
4. Provide training for two persons in Analysis Surveillance
5. Training of the local Extension Staff in effective monitoring of the Black Sigatoka and fungicide sensitivity analysis.

Additionally, through the “Caribbean Sustainable Banana Project”, other forms of assistance have been pledged such as the sharing of information on:

1. Development of varieties of banana tolerant to nematodes and the Black Sigatoka.
2. Reduction in the use of chemicals for weed control in bananas
3. Registration of Bio pesticides
4. Teach and execute a comparative study of the methods used in recycling plastic bags and post harvest chemicals residues.

The Ministry of Agriculture, represented by Chief Agricultural Officer, Reuben Robertson, met with the delegation headed by Sébastien Zanoletti, (Directeur Innovation et Développement Durable, UGPBAN). Robertson expressed gratitude for the timely assistance and pledged a closer working relationship between the local banana stakeholders and the producer groups of Martinique and Guadeloupe.