Coming out of the collaboration between Export Saint Lucia (TEPA) and the Department of Agriculture further strides have been taken to increase the overall volume of produce coming from the island’s shores. One of the major implementations of this agreement is the formation of the Agriculture Export Core Committee. Export Saint Lucia (TEPA) and the Department of Agriculture working in collaboration with the various extension officers on island are mobilizing farmers and briefing them on the drive to increase the value and volume of produce being exported.
To this extent, a number of regional meetings with farmers will be undertaken to enlighten them as to the various opportunities present for their produce. The first meeting saw the gathering of farmers from regions 1 and 2 and was held on October 10th, 2018. During the meeting farmers were briefed on the various demands for fresh produce that exist in regional and international markets. Discussions were also held on the volumes and types of produce that currently exists in their districts that are available for export.
The focus right now however is information dissemination, so farmers can get a better understanding of the mandate of the agreements between Export Saint Lucia (TEPA) and the Department of Agriculture.
From all account’s farmers are very excited to know that there is an attempt to assist them in getting a market for their spillover produce that can’t be retailed and consumed locally. A second meeting with crop cultivators from region 3 will be convened in November. Information coming out of these meetings will assist the producers to make informed decisions in planning for export. Additionally, it would allow the Agriculture Export Core Committee to develop a strategic action plan towards increasing the export of produce from Saint Lucia moving forward.