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Agriculture Minister Alfred Prospere has expressed concern over the high cost of food imports while declaring that he is pleased Saint Lucia’s food production increase.
A recent Agri-Investment Forum and Expo II in Trinidad and Tobago heard that according to Caribbean Community (CARICOM) figures, Saint Lucia had surpassed its fruit and vegetable quota.
“I am not too happy with where we are,” the Agriculture Minister said regarding food imports, although he described as ‘remarkable’ the increase in local food production.
Prospere’s remarks came during an appearance on the programme ‘Agriculture on the Move.’
He disclosed that Saint Lucia spent almost $300,000 during the first quarter of this year on importing cabbage and over $160,000 on lettuce.
Prospere said it was unacceptable that while Saint Lucia was pushing for food security, the country continued to import much of what it can produce.
He hoped that through the seven-crops initiative, Saint Lucia would see a massive reduction in imports of items like watermelons, cantaloupes, pineapples, and lettuce which the Island can grow.
He revealed that he has been speaking with the seven-crops initiative stakeholders regarding his concerns.
The seven-crops initiative is a joint undertaking with the Taiwanese to promote import substitution by focusing attention on increasing the production of selected crops.