Thursday, August 26, 2010

Grenada to import bananas from St. Vincent

ST GEORGE’S, Grenada, CMC – Grenada has resumed the importation of bananas from neighbouring St. Vincent and the Grenadines after a prolonged drought season seriously affected banana cultivation, officials said.
The Marketing and National Importing Board (MNIB) said that it would import the fruit on a fortnightly basis until local farmers are able to meet consumer demands.

“We are just coming out of a drought and everybody knows the situation with black sigatoka (leaf spot disease),” said MNIB Chairman, Byron Campbell, adding “we have to supply our customers and it was decided that we will resume the importation of bananas because what we are presently receiving from local farmers cannot meet local demands”.

He said that MNIB would be ordering a 20 foot container every fortnight “until we can sustain ourselves locally.”
In 2009, Grenada was forced to import bananas from its neighbouring Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country because of low production levels here.

Campbell said the imported bananas imported carry the Fairtrade label ensuring that the fruit is of a certain standard and quality. Fair trade adopts an organised market-based approach designed to help producers in developing countries obtain better trading conditions and prices for their products.

Campbell said that the MNIB would be adopting several initiatives including the supply of fertilizers and increases prices as incentives to get local farmers increase production levels.

Grenada is one of the four Windward Islands exporting bananas to the United Kingdom market.