Antigua and Barbuda is new market for St. Lucia bananas, while Smith says Gov’t must get serious about local food security

As word comes that Antigua and Barbuda will be importing bananas from St Lucia, Anthony Smith Jr., the United Progressive Party (UPP) Candidate for All Saints West, says more attention must be placed on the agriculture sector in order to reduce the country’s import bill.

Last year, a delegation led by Alfred Prospere, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Security, embarked on a quest to secure new and existing banana markets and ensure the prosperity of that sector in St. Lucia.

Based on research efforts by Export Saint Lucia and the National Fair Trade Organization (NFTO), a new market was secured in Antigua and Barbuda, and the first shipment of 460 boxes arrived here at the end of March.

“We need to be able to feed ourselves in this country,” says Smith, a strong believer in local agriculture.

If the COVID-19 pandemic did not teach the Gaston Browne Administration the importance of food security, then we are a lost society, Smith says.  He adds that a nation being able to feed itself is very important for development and economic prosperity.

In order to demonstrate that it is serious about improving food security, Smith says the Government must do all it can at the local level to ensure it can be achieved.