Boatloads of food will be exported from St Vincent and the Grenadines this week as the island continues to bounce back from the La Soufriere eruptions.
Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar visited the WIBDECO shed this morning where goods were being prepared for export.
The minister says dasheen and eddoes will be going down to Trinidad and Tobago, noting that with the twin island’s curfew beginning from 9 pm, farmers were asked to bring their produce into the market earlier so the boat can have an earlier departure time.
Some of the other goods at the shed waiting for export include mangoes, avocado, soursop, plantain, bananas and ginger, to name a few.
The minister says SVG is now weeks out since the first eruption and the agriculture sector is returning to excellent volumes.
“This is the largest export since April 9,” says Caesar.
Walking around the shed he noted the quality of the plantains is ‘looking really good now.’
Describing SVG’s agricultural sector as resilient, the minister says with the volume of goods packaged by farmers being so impressive it goes to show that even after the eruptions of La Soufriere, farmers went back out to work.
“From the ashes we continue to rise. We had a devastating volcanic eruption just a few weeks ago and we can have this quality to export… it speaks significant volumes,” says Caesar.
The Minister of Agriculture recalls that the week after the first eruption, farmers had to spend a very long time preparing the bananas and plantains, with a lot of washing to remove ash residue.
Now, he says SVG has returned to normalcy in terms of quality.
Caesar is encouraging the young people of the country to join the productive sector. He says a series of training workshops will be conducted over the next six months for people to have a better appreciation for hydroponics, apiary culture and longline fishing.
Ending off his update in a Facebook video via the Agency for Public Information, he says Vincentians have dusted off the ash and continue to work.