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Technical Cooperation

Project Name: Banana Black Sigatoka Disease Prevention and Treatment Project (St. Lucia)
Project Description: Bananas are St. Lucia’s primary export and are an important local crop, providing a livelihood for many farmers. Since 2010, however, the banana industry has been threatened by black sigatoka (also known as banana leaf spot disease), which has infected roughly 70 percent of the country’s banana plants. The impact upon the development of the banana industry has been severe and most banana farmers lack the funds and technology needed to control the disease. St. Lucia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food Production, Fisheries, Co-operatives and Rural Development also lacks the disease control techniques necessary to support the banana industry, and so through this project the government hopes to introduce Taiwan’s abundant experience of fighting black sigatoka, thereby guiding farmers in implementing disease control measures and restoring capacity back to the banana industry.

Project appraisal found that the main challenge to protecting St. Lucia’s domestic banana industry from the threat of black sigatoka is the country’s lack of disease control strategies and techniques. St. Lucia’s Black Sigatoka Management Unit lacks for hardware facilities and inspection technologies, and has therefore been unable to put disease surveillance and early warning mechanisms into place. There is also a lack of capacity for running trials of disease-resistant varieties of banana, so there has been no way to introduce the planting of such varieties, while agricultural technicians are not adequately trained to help farmers implement disease control measures.

In assisting St. Lucia to restore capacity back to the banana industry, the main components of this project will include: (1) assisting in the establishment of a model for the control of black sigatoka; (2) introducing disease-resistant varieties of banana; and (3) providing guidance to banana farmers in order to improve on-farm disease management techniques.

Specific project work components will include: (1) establishing a soil analysis laboratory and a pathological analysis laboratory and stations, allowing St. Lucia to establish disease analysis, monitoring and early warning mechanisms; (2) introducing new varieties of disease-resistant bananas; and (3) establishing standard operating procedures for field management and disease control, thereby building the capacity of agricultural extension officers to guide farmers in carrying out on-farm disease management.

Implementation Start Date: 2013/8/28
Implementation End Date: 2016/3/31
Source of Funding: 1.Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan);2.Ministry of Agriculture, St. Lucia
Project Objectives: Reduce the infection rate of black sigatoka disease from 70 percent to 20 percent; increase banana production by 10 percent; improve participating growers’ livelihoods.
Executing Agency: 1.TaiwanICDF
2.Black Sigatoka Management Unit (BSMU, St. Lucia)
Implementation Arrangement: The TaiwanICDF will dispatch a project manager and specialists to assist the partner country to implement the project.
Project Performance: The short-term Taiwanese experts will provide prevention techniques and help to modify cultivation management practices, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan is providing funding to build facilities and establish a revolving fund that will support the purchase of chemicals for onward distribution to banana producers. These activities are expected to effectively reduce the infection rate of Black Sigatoka from 70 percent to 20 percent, bringing the disease under effective control. After the two-year implementation period, it is expected that total banana production will have increased by 10 percent and that exports will be restored, progressively improving banana farmers’ livelihoods.
Sector: Production Sectors
Sector Item: Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Cooperating Country: Caribbean, St. Lucia
Themes: Agriculture
Project status: Completed projects
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  • Date:2014/2/13
  • Date Updated:2018/8/27