Farm workers to tackle Black Sigatoka

Black Sigatoka was first detected in Dominica in July, 2012
Black Sigatoka was first detected in Dominica in July, 2012

Over 20 farm workers will soon be hired under the National Employment Program (NEP) to destroy abandoned banana farms which has been a major source of headache in the battle against Black Sigatoka.

Black Sigatoka is a leaf spot disease affecting banana and plantain plants which was discovered in Dominica in 2012.

Abandoned farms  serve as a source of inoculation for the disease and according to Head of Plant Quarantine in Dominica, Ryan Anselm, a total of 21 individuals, including seven supervisors will be hired to destroy them.

“So in the month of May, once that money is approved from the NEP, we will employ some farm labor to tackle the abandoned fields that [have] been a source of inoculation for the Black Sigatoka,” he said at a press conference.

Anselm noted that in moving forward the strategy planned is to use disease-resistant planting material and Cuba has been identified as a suitable country to provide such material.

“So what we have to do is get a suitable country …we have identified Cuba to be the most suitable country in terms of phytosanitary (sanitation with regard to pests and pathogens) concern that will give us disease-free planting resistance varieties,” he said.

Meantime Coordinator of Black Sigatoka Task Force, Carol Abraham, pointed out that authorities are at the end of their 5th spray cycle.

“To date we have sprayed a total of 940 acres of bananas,” she said. ” We have over a 1,000 acres of plantain that have been sprayed, totaling to date 2,068 acres of bananas and plantain.”

She pointed out that disease has spread to almost every part of the island but is not widespread in the north.

Abraham is confident the disease will eventually be contained and controlled.

“I am confident that we can manage it,” she stated. “Those farmers who are serious are doing what they have to do.”



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  1. Ashley
    April 28, 2014

    Is this material from Cuba genetically modified? Why Cuba?

  2. Tumble back kick
    April 26, 2014

    Come on,that clone of banana from Cuba that is resistant to Sigatoka is not marketable. Does not have the taste or shape of the banana that people usually buy.
    What about identifying farmers and give them the inputs to spray their farms and neighboring farms. The way agriculture is going its a difficult sell for those who will be employed. What happens after they are finished,who will spray the fields?

  3. Informant
    April 26, 2014

    I would advise that the police accompany these workers to the abandon fields, and I am talking about armed officers to avoid problems as some persons can be very ignorant.

  4. Puzzled
    April 25, 2014

    So we have 1000 acres of plantain and 940 acres of Bananas this equals 2068 acres according to Carol Abraham. what maths being used.??
    Also one supervisor to every three workers on this project?
    When are we going to get serious.????

  5. Ric
    April 25, 2014

    Good luck DA..This disease can be control….Clean fields, periodic spraying and fertilization etc. can do it…..Again GOOD LUCK VINCY

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