Government tackles Black Sigatoka on island

Black Sigatoka disease

Agriculture Minister Roland Royer said the Government of Dominica is reviewing the treatment for Black Sigatoka, a leaf spot disease of banana and plantain plants caused by ascomycete fungus.

He was speaking as a guest on Focus on Government and Development, which aired on DBS Radio recently.

The Black Sigatoka disease was first detected in Dominica in July 2012.

“We have a banana and plantain unit at the Ministry, that too we have a few challenges with the Black Sigatoka,” Royer said. “For the past two months, we have been reassessing it and thinking how we can do things better to ensure that we get the level of production that is desired, so we are reviewing the treatment for Black Sigatoka and the way in which it is done.”

He continued, “As we speak we have a spray team going around spraying for Black Sigatoka…”

Furthermore, he stated that going forward the government plans to empower farmers and equip them, so that they can be trained, “to do their own spraying, make the oils and fungicides [available] to them for better management of plantain and bananas.”

He explained that most of the farmers are only focused on getting the oil and the fungicide to spray, but field sanitation, the nutrients for the crops, and other cultural practices are essential for the proper management of the Black Sigatoka disease.

“So we are going to try to push that because we need to expand bananas as well because we have huge demands for bananas in the region,” Royer stated. “We want to really take advantage of these opportunities.”

In June 2017 the Division of Agriculture welcomed to Dominica a team of technicians from French company ‘Banane De Guadeloupe Martinique’ to apprise the Division of management methods to combat the deadly Black Sigatoka fungus which was affecting the country’s banana crops.

The objective of cooperation is to control the Black Sigatoka–which is the most popular disease in bananas–and also to reduce the use of pesticides.

The French team’s objective was to propose to the Dominican government, a series of trials in attempts to fight the disease which will result in bananas being sold and exported on the local, regional, and international levels.

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  1. sam Mathias
    March 9, 2023

    Really? This is news?

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  2. Linda Harris
    March 9, 2023

    The greatest risk of disease spread is by people moving infected plant material such as banana suckers for plant propagation or banana leaves used for wrapping and packaging food. Localised disease spread can occur from rain splash and wind borne spores, particularly during wet, humid, windy conditions.

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  3. Ibo France
    March 8, 2023

    The plan to fight this disease ( Black Sigatoka) to restore the once most prosperous banana industry is stuck in the pipeline. These plans have been in the incubator stage for eleven (11) years and counting.

    St. Lucia has overcome the very same problem and is exporting. Dominica can’t get off the mark. This is pellucid evidence that LEADERSHIP matters. What we have in Dominica at the apex government is crab-like captainship, which is, a captain without a head.

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  4. Lin clown
    March 8, 2023

    The majority of the Dominican people believe you and people like you are liars and as crooked as a corkscrew and not Skerrit.Bernie Grant(a member of the British Parliament)was invited to Dominica by Rosie Douglas.Bernie told Dominicans diversify, do not solely depend on bananas,because they would lose their preferential treatment on the British market to Chiquita and Dole.Greed, lying and corrupt traitors told the farmers Bernie Grant was a liar and they would get $1 a pound of bananas,negotiated by Edison James..The farmers believed James and refused to diversify.The UWP killed agriculture in Dominica.Today we hear all DON KEYS braying.

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    • If we knew better
      March 13, 2023

      No… the farmers killed the banana industry. Ive heard stories of farmers purposefully putting stones in their boxes, putting bananas they KNEW would not be accepted and all sorts of other cheating measures. I cannot say it was all farmers. But one rotten banana spoils the bunch. Stop spreading lies, because when UWP was around, we still had agriculture booming, the country still had vibes, and we still had a sense of law and order in the streets. Murder wasnt like it is now. Back to Bananas, the region did lose its preferential treatment because south and central america are growing it cheaper, they have invested in agriculture and have become mechanised now being able to do more work with less people, they have more land than we do. Even though their bananas arent as nice as ours. the market has dictated and we were forced to fold. but you blame uwp for us compromising our OWN selves. Im not saying UWP of old were saints, but they didnt do nearly as much damage as what we have now

  5. Roger
    March 8, 2023

    Dominica received 15million Euros from the EU to tackle Black Sigatoka (BAM project – the signs are still there) and they blew it.

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  6. derp
    March 8, 2023

    I hope it’s organic pesticides they are using. Matter of fact they should ban all chemically and artificially made pesticides there are organic pesticides which do not cause harm to humans, such as cancer etc, also it’s crazy that in the nature island they are still using gramoxone a poison that is known to cause cancer, still being used here.

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  7. If we knew better
    March 8, 2023

    still? what did St. Lucia do that we havent?

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  8. Lawyer
    March 8, 2023

    Haven’t they done that before? What was the result. Right now I’m hearing the government is doing this, that and everything. Is that all Skerrit has left? Rhetoric, propaganda and political spin? Well the time has definitely come for him to be kicked out. In fact it’s overdue buy at least 19 years. All this man has given us is empty words and corruption.

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    • Ibo France
      March 8, 2023

      Lawyer, it’s just empty rhetoric as usual to fool the unsuspecting. The Lying bandit and his dishonest adherents know that their lies and frivolous excuses will be published verbatim on most of the accommodating local media houses.

      The standard of living is atrocious in every country where good and investigative journalism is non-existent.

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