Equipment from EU Provides Boost to Banana Sector


The local banana industry received a boost on Wednesday (Oct. 29) with the official handing over of equipment and other farm products by the European Union to the Ministry of Agriculture, during a presentation ceremony at the Boundbrook Wharf in Port Antonio, Portland. The package, valued at over $70 million, included two mini excavators, a backhoe, a trailer, motor vehicles as well as chemical and fertilizers.
The assistance, which forms part of the Banana Support Programme, was symbolic of the European Union’s commitment to support the local banana sector to become more efficient and modern.
Head of Delegation of the European Union, Gerd Jarchow, made the presentation to Agriculture Minister, Roger Clarke.
In his remarks, Mr. Jarchow said that the European Union was fully committed to supporting the Jamaican banana industry in its effort to remain competitive in the global economy.
Noting that the programme of assistance being offered to the industry by the European Union commenced in 1996, he said since that time over $2 billion has been provided as support to the industry.
Responding, Mr. Clarke thanked the European Union for its generosity to the country’s agriculture over the years, adding that that support has played a critical role in enabling the country’s banana production to maintain its competitive edge on the world market.
Observing that the different areas of support given to the banana industry by the European Union included the refurbishing of the Boundbrook Wharf in Port Antonio in the 1990s, and the establishment of a special framework of assistance to support banana farmers, the Agriculture Minister asserted that the support had also helped the sector to survive the diseases and other challenges which had negatively affected banana production in other countries.

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