The Ministry of Agriculture, along with the Republic of China (Taiwan), has embarked on a project which seeks to reduce Saint Lucia’s food import bill.
The production and distribution enhancement project will focus on seven crops over a three-year period, the Saint Lucia Times reported.
Ezechiel Joseph, minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Physical Planning, Natural Resources and Co-operatives, said the introduction of new technologies and techniques helps Saint Lucia produce these crops more sustainably.
“Take lettuce, for example. One year we imported over $1 million worth of lettuce as if we cannot produce it in Saint Lucia,” Joseph said. “We can, and I have the fullest confidence that we can with the new technologies that will be introduced to us through the Taiwanese Technical Mission from the ICDF.”
With an annual food import bill of $4.5 million, Saint Lucia — with the help of the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) — will seek to enhance agricultural intelligence information systems, analyze market demand, and assist farmers plan production cycles based on market demands.
Ambassador Douglas Chen said the biggest challenge facing Saint Lucia today is how to achieve food security and combat climate change.
The project will focus on cabbage, lettuce, watermelon, cantaloupe, bell pepper, pineapple, and tomato crops, and will receive financial and technical support from the Republic of China (Taiwan), for a period of three years.