Taiwan technical mission to enhance agricultural sector in St Lucia

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Taiwan Technical Mission fruit and vegetable project team, Mario Cheng and Ai-Lin Chen, permanent secretary in the ministry of agriculture Barrymore Felicien

CASTRIES, Saint Lucia —The government of Taiwan has recently selected Ai-Lin Chen to serve as the specialist for the project for the enhancement of the efficiency of production and distribution supply chains in the fruit and vegetable sector in Taiwan technical mission in Saint Lucia.

Chen recently graduated from the University of California, Davis, where she earned a dual master’s degree in agricultural economics and international agricultural development. She has a lifelong interest in agricultural policy and served as a farm extension adviser in Taiwan previously.

The project will collaborate with multiple local stakeholders, including the ministry of agriculture, extension offices, farmer associations, vegetable farmers, supermarkets and hotels.

From the production side, this project will work with the ministry of agriculture and extension offices to conduct vegetable farmer surveys, provide agriculture climate adaptation plans and utilise and reshape current agricultural resource systems. On the market side, the project will work with farmers’ cooperatives to establish market channels that will increase the quantity and access of local produce to multiple markets such as supermarkets and hotels.

“I see that the Taiwan technical mission in Saint Lucia and its network have excellent experience and expertise over the years doing this job. I want to package that information and make it accessible to everyone, letting the Taiwan technical mission become a resource in best practices for Saint Lucia’s agricultural operations,” Chen said.

Her first responsibility will be focusing on the market side, including utilising data collected from the agricultural resource system and analysing market demand for local vegetable consumption. This analysis will help vegetable farmers and farmers’ cooperatives plan offseason vegetable production to increase market access for local produce.

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