CASTRIES, St Lucia — The agricultural cooperation between Saint Lucia and Taiwan entered a new phase when a new action plan to upgrade Saint Lucia’s agricultural supply chain was signed on Wednesday, November 21, 2018.
Douglas Shen, Taiwan’s ambassador to Saint Lucia, and Ezechiel Joseph, minister for agriculture, fisheries, physical planning, natural resources and co-operatives, put their signature to the “Enhancing the efficiency of production-distribution supply chain in fruit and vegetable sector project” document on behalf of their respective governments.
This new project seeks to enhance the efficacy of the production and marketing supply chain. It also provides climate change adaption, protected structure cultivation and post-harvest processing and packaging techniques. By establishing a stable supply chain and assisting farmers’ cooperatives develop a corporate-like production and marketing structure, the project also aims at increasing the volume of local produce sold to domestic markets.
At the signing ceremony, Shen said that Taiwan and Saint Lucia have worked together on the Fruit and Vegetable Demonstration and Extension Project-Phase II in the past three years, which has steadily fulfilled the goal of raising local farmers’ competitiveness and their income. He expects the new project to greatly enhance the field-to-market connection for them by establishing such mechanisms as the agricultural information system, farmer certification system and produce traceability system.
Joseph expressed gratitude to the government of Taiwan for its contributions in assisting the agricultural development of Saint Lucia. He expects the new project to greatly reduce the need to import foreign produce, now totaling over US$8 million. He also expressed confidence in local farmers’ foreseeable ability to supply vegetables and fruits all year round via the establishment of an agricultural intelligence.
The new project will be implemented over a three-year period. In the first year, major focus will be put on enhancing the efficacy of the production and marketing supply chain. Thereafter attention will be paid to climate change adaption, protected structure cultivation and post-harvest processing and packaging techniques.
The new phase of agricultural cooperation project will be jointly implemented by the Taiwan Technical Mission and Saint Lucia’s ministry of agriculture.