Damage caused by Black Sigatoka

Dominica’s struggling banana industry has been hit with a major blow with the news that at least one Caribbean country has indicated it would not be accepting fruits from Dominica because of the deadly Black Sigatoka Disease.

The revelation was made on Wednesday by Agriculture Minister Mathew Walter at an emergency press conference.

“We have already been threatened. Montserrat has written to us that they will not accept any fruits coming from us, especially plantain and bananas,” Walter said.

He stated that government expect other countries to follow suit. “We expect Anguilla, Antigua, Nevis and ST Kitts to follow suit,” he said.

He said while these countries have not officially written to government, they have indicated their intentions “verbally”.

“I think the faster that we can move this pest away from Dominica is better for us,” he added.

Black Sigatoka is a leaf spot disease of banana that can cut a tree’s fruit production by 50 percent.

The presence of the disease was confirmed in Dominica last month.