Taiwan technical team helping to reduce food import bill

The new cooperative project, enhancing the efficiency of production-distribution supply chains in fruit and vegetable in Saint Lucia, aims to decrease the net import budgets in the seven crops: cabbage, lettuce, watermelon, cantaloupe, bell pepper, pineapple, and tomato. 

The reasons that these seven crops have selected is because not only local farmers can grow them correctly, but also due to the high import bills on these crops. 

Thus, to improve local vegetable and fruits farmers’ income and local vegetable and fruits’ consumption, the focus should not only focus on the production side, but the market side is also essential as well. 

On the market side, the priority at this stage is to understand market needs. Thus, the chief ,Mario Cheng, and the specialist, Ai-Lin Chen, from Taiwan Technical Mission in Saint Lucia, Marketing Unit and the project coordinator Ms. Adline Eudovic, from Ministry of Agriculture had initial meetings both with SLHTA and the local Produce Manager for Massy Stores to  discuss the future cooperation, such as  the quantities and quality of market demand. 

On the production side, Chen and Eudovic work together to design the questionnaires for farm baseline survey to understand the baseline and the real-time information of the field information of the selected crops (cabbages, lettuce, watermelon, cantaloupe, bell pepper, pineapple, and tomato)  in Saint Lucia. 

This nationwide survey has implemented since in the middle of May and expected to finish in early June. Taiwan Technical Mission and Ministry of agricultural also held two training sessions for conducting of the survey to receive the most accurate real-time field planting information such as expected yield and expected harvest date of the seven crops.