THE “Farmer Field School Program 2018”, a joint-initiative between Saint Lucia and Taiwan, held a graduation ceremony at Marigot Secondary School on June 20, 2018. The 53 local farmers who completed the three-month training course were given certificates of recognition. H.E. Douglas C. T. Shen, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Hon. Ezekiel Joseph, Minister for Agriculture, Hon. Sarah Flood-Beaubrun, Minister for External Affairs and Hon. Dominic Fedee, Minister for Tourism attended the ceremony as VIP guests.
In his remarks, Ambassador Shen emphasized the importance of enhancing professional capacity of local farmers through practical field training. He noted that the two governments worked together to initial the Farmer Field School program since 2010 under the Vegetable and Fruit Demonstration and Extension Project between Taiwan and Saint Lucia. As of today, more than 2,000 local farmers have participated in this program, and most of them are using the knowledge at their farm every day. He encouraged farmers to keep learning new agriculture techniques, meanwhile, Taiwan will continue to provide the necessary assistance.
Minister Ezekiel Joseph expressed thanks to Taiwan for its contributions to assist the country in agricultural development over the years. He vowed that his government will continue to cooperate with Taiwan to increase the island’s self-sufficiency rate in fruits and vegetables. Minister Flood-Beaubrun and Minister Fedee both extended their gratitude to Taiwan for its long term friendship, emphasizing that all the bilateral cooperation projects are deeply benefitting to the people of Saint Lucia.
Farmer Field School allows the participants to engage in hands-on learning experience. Farmers are taught the latest agricultural know-how, including crops cultivation, production management, and marketing, which are essential for increase productivity and profit.