August 24, 2012
Banana spraying plane grounded with mechanical problems

The aircraft used to do aerial spraying of banana fields infected with Black Sigatoka disease has been grounded because of a mechanical problem.{{more}}

This was disclosed by Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar in an interview with SEARCHLIGHT on Tuesday, during a tour of banana farms which had been affected by the Black Sigatoka disease.

Caesar explained that when the S2R-T34 aircraft was being serviced two weeks ago, a mechanical problem with the plane’s exhaust was discovered.

“We have already sourced the requisite personnel out of Miami and the replacement for the exhaust. So, we are asking farmers to be patient when they do not see the plane in the sky for the next three weeks or so …

“It’s not like we have removed aerial spraying or anything of that sort. The plane is under repair, because we do not want to risk the losing the entire plane. We prefer to service and rectify the problem, so that we can continue the spraying cycles,” Caesar said.

He, however, said that although the plane is out of commission for the next few weeks, this would not affect the spray cycle, because of the increase in ground spraying.

“What we have done as a ministry is to increase work teams involved in the ground spraying until repairs are completed.

“So, we are therefore asking farmers who are spotting different areas in their fields where there are signs of the Black Sigatoka disease, to make their reports to their extension officers or come into the ministry so that we can continue to control the disease in the way, that we are doing it presently,” he said. (AA)