The Ministry of Agriculture has outlined several measures and has threatened prosecution if they are not complied with as Dominica intensifies it fight against the deadly Black Sigatoka Disease.
The new measures take effect on Monday, August 6.
“All plantain and bananas for export must be de-handed, dipped and parked in a carton box on the farm or as close to the farm as possible, within the same locality,” agriculture minister Mathew Walter told a press conference on Wednesday. “Trash and leafing material are prohibited to accompany banana and local plantain to local markets.”
Additionally, movement of planting material will be restricted and this can only happen with the permission of the Plant Protection and Quarantine Unit.
The ministry has also declared the month of August as Banana and Plantain Field Sanitation Month under the theme “Observing Good Agricultural Practice and Adhering to Cultural Practices”.
Some of the activities and measures expected to be undertaken by farmers include the ‘de-leafing’ of plantain and banana trees, correct spacing and crop density and destruction of abandoned fields.
The ministry says when farmers comply with these activities, support will be made available, which includes the provision of fungicide, fertilizers and insecticide.
Walter also made it clear that persons who fail to comply voluntarily to any of the measures will be prosecuted under the Agriculture Act.
Copyright 2012 Dominica News Online, DURAVISION INC. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.