2015 – eventful year for agriculture

Drigo said the agricultural sector faced many challenges in 2015
Drigo said the agricultural sector faced many challenges in 2015

The Hon Minister for Agriculture, Johnson Drigo, in his end of year message to the nation, describes the year 2015 as challenging yet eventful for the agriculture sector.

The Agriculture Minister recounts that in 2015, farmers were severely impacted by a prolonged dry season which affected root crops and vegetables. At the same time the Black Sigatoka disease affected the banana and plantain sub-sector while the south grappled with scale insect infestations.

Notwithstanding these challenges, the Minister praised farmers for their commitment and hard work.

“Let me at this time commend our farmers for their resilience and confidence in the sector. You did the hard work; with the support of stakeholders and other agencies, we saw remarkable improvement in the sector,” he noted.

Improvements in the sector includes:  the rehabilitation of farms, many new establishments, new varieties of crops such as white potatoes, the importation of fresh banana plantlets, an increase in the supply of oils and chemicals to eradicate the Black Sigatoka disease and support to the farmers groups by Government, among others.

He said Government will continue to work with organisations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and Dominica Export Import Agency (DEXIA) to strengthen sector in the coming year.

The Minister also pledged to continue to work with Governments of China, Cuba, Venezuela, Morocco and Ecuador to benefit from their knowledge of the sector.

Agriculture remains important for national food security and the economy providing employment for 25% of the labour force and contributing 12% to the gross domestic product.

The Minister pledged Government’s continued commitment to agriculture moving forward.

“We will do more to modernize the sector and build responsiveness through science and technology,” he stated. “We will continue to assist farmers with technical support, training and inputs to boost their farms in order the expand farm yields. Government through the Banana Accompanying Measures Programme of the European Union, imported 40,000 tissue culture banana plantlets to assist with the revitalization of the banana industry. To date the Ministry has distributed approximately 20,000 to various farmers.”

Minister Drigo outlined that distribution of the next batch was planned for the second week in December, 2015.

Improvements were also seen in the livestock sector. The national abattoir which is now in the testing phase has seen 82 pigs and 3,828 birds slaughtered.

The meat supplied for the annual Minister’s food baskets to various charitable organizations were processed at the national abattoir.”

The fisheries sector also fared very well this year at a value of $6.5m.

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12 Comments

  1. Anthony P. Ismael
    December 31, 2015

    You really serious with that end of year address? Farmers had to protest and block roads, so that they could receive assistance. I feel real sorry for you though. To put out such an empty statement when you know the truth is really sad for our country.

  2. Tjebe Fort
    December 31, 2015

    Honestly, to hear the man is painful. Could the DLP not find someone of more caliber to represent them in Castle Bruce. Honestly, he’s almost as useless as Justina Charles in Grandbay.

  3. say what?
    December 30, 2015

    Went straight to the comments on this one :-D

  4. indira Ghandi
    December 30, 2015

    What is his name?
    Is it johndont Know or John Dontknow.

  5. Me
    December 30, 2015

    Some people sell their soul for a duty free vehicle but they will never be free of the devil.

  6. Zeb Kooess
    December 30, 2015

    Aye! I like to support my people 100%. However, we have some incompetence ministers of government that cause us much embarrassment. We do not willingly criticize them – But we do so because they fail to listen to the people’s opinion – Preferring rather to be in subjection to skeritt whether he is right or wrong; In which case he is mostly WRONG!!!!!! These ministers could become great men and women, if they had the freedom to operate within their God given conscience.

  7. Zeb Kooess
    December 30, 2015

    What product (s) do we really grow in Dominica dad and export to even have a departing of Agriculture? I mean, “department”.

  8. dissident
    December 30, 2015

    Do you honestly believe yourself?
    Disgraceful!
    Pitiful?

  9. Vigilante
    December 30, 2015

    Way way way papa. .. It’s an insult to the intelligence just reading that nonsensical and empty speech from the minister of Agriculture. It’s like sophistry and empty barrels not forgetting clashing cymbals. So much noise to the brain. ….. Not for one second did this empty and so called flattering speech tickled one fancy.
    Eventful year in agriculture sector.. oh please minister Drago.. Wise men came from the east so don’t let no one fool you into going out there and make a speech which is loaded with terminological in exactitude to use layman terms…..
    Truth be told you guys have no clue as to where you all going. Mr Drigo you mean well and indeed you seem to be kind hearted but please remember you are a minister therefore speak the truth.
    For 14 years labour party just destroyed the country every sector. . Don’t you realise being minister of agriculture is a do or die ministry. .. ask comrade Walters. They put you there to be stressed out..
    That’s not your cup of…

  10. Me
    December 30, 2015

    Poor Hon. Drigo is out of his depth and floundering. Nearly a year ago, on 19 Jan. 2015 DNO reported you as saying that we were to import 20,000 plantlets from France and that the P.M was fast-tracking this project. That was well before Erika. What became of these plantlets? Did they produce any bananas. Black sikatoka is as real here as it is in St. Lucia but when we are using it as an excuse for no longer exporting bananas to Europe St. Lucia bananas are in the shops in the U.K. In the mean time we are finding it difficult in Dominica to even find local bananas for ourselves to eat. We do not need propaganda, we need facts and real, measurable improvement.

  11. Shameless
    December 30, 2015

    John-dont-know, Garson you were a very good, god-fearing man before aligning yourself with the said cabal. You have now lost all respect that was left for you by your constituents. Castle Bruce which was the bread basket of the east is now a beggars paradise while you sit and play politics with agriculture and the youg men/ women languish in their sorrow.

    My friend, get with Issac Baptiste and devise some strategies that will bring some semblance of normalcy to CBruce. Finish them people from Pte. Soufriere road to Rosalie so they too can transport their produce. Give people their houses you promise in Colasewee and above Delice house. Lastly, leave them man cabal for them before you too start SOUSAYING SEL! :twisted:

    Assertive, NEVER Aggressive! :twisted: :twisted:

  12. i
    December 30, 2015

    yes sah look a bunch of ministers

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