St Lucia has launched a multi-million dollar project aimed at strengthening agribusiness operations within the context of climate change according to CMC.

The US$1.8 million Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) funded Sustainable Agribusiness for Laborie and Environs (SABLE) project is intended to benefit farmers and fisherfolk mainly in the south of the island.

“The project is innovative as it will deliver financial support for the adoption of climate resilient practices and improve livelihoods for our members. In addition, the project explicitly connects market opportunities, investment capital, capacity building and technical support,” said Steven Auguste, president of the Laborie Co-operative Credit Union (LCCU), which is executing the programme.

He said this is being done through a blended financial intervention to support greater climate resilience, environmental and commercial sustainability of small agro production, and fishing in the south.

“The LCCU is extremely well positioned to facilitate and support the successful implementation of the proposed intervention in climate change adaptation of farmers and fisherfolks,” Auguste said.

LCCU general manager Lucius Ellevic said fisherfolks and farmers are not doing well because the systems and methods which are supposed to help them sell and generate revenue from their production have failed them.

“Thus is the salient area in which this project will address itself,” he said.

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet said the government fully supports the project and that it is the intention of his administration “to ensure that there is a clear market space for fresh fruits as well agro processing.

“That is why the development of the south is so critical,” he said, noting that development projects such as hotels which will soon commence in the south creating opportunities for farmers.

“What is taking place here is timely…I am appealing to farmers to make use of the opportunities we have provided under this project,” Chastanet said.