PRESS RELEASE – THE government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) recently assigned Taiwan Banana expert Dr.Chih-Ping Chao, Director of Taiwan Banana Research Institute (TBRI), to visit Saint Lucia from May 2 to 6 for the evaluation of new banana cooperation project, “Rehabilitate Banana Production and Productivity in Saint Lucia”.
During his stay, Dr. Chao met with the Officer of the Ministry of Agriculture, the stakeholders of banana industry and local farmers to better understand the actual needs of the Saint Lucian banana industry.
The new project is estimated to cost US$5.1 million dollars and will be executed over a four-year period. During the first year, the major focus shall be on restoring the industry to pre-Hurricane Matthew condition and increasing productivity on the existing acreages. Thereafter, attention will be placed on expanding current acreages, building resilience to climate change, establishing sustainable financing mechanism, building capacity and strengthening diseases control measures.
Taiwanese Ambassador to Saint Lucia, H. E. Douglas Shen, welcomed Dr. Chao’s visit and noted that the government of Taiwan has cooperated with the Government of Saint Lucia on the Black Sigatoka Management Project (BSMP) in the past five years and successfully doubled the growth in the export of Saint Lucia’s bananas.
Realizing that the banana industry plays an important role in the economy of Saint Lucia, the two governments have decided to continue their cooperation. Ambassador Shen firmly believes that through joint efforts of the two countries, the capability and confidence of the local banana industry will be greatly improved, and the high-quality produce will once again bring fruitful business to farmers in Saint Lucia.
TBRI was established in 1970, funded and supervised by the Government of Taiwan. The main purposes of TBRI are to promote production and quality improvement of banana and to ensure the sustainability and prosperity of the Taiwan banana industry. For the past five years, TBRI has provided various technical assistances to Saint Lucian banana farmers through the BSMP and will continue its support for the new banana-related project in Saint Lucia.