Long Term Support of Local Banana Industry by EU


The long term commitment of the European Union (EU) to support the local banana industry has been underscored by Gerd Jarchow, Head of Delegation of the European Commission to Jamaica.
Mr. Jarchow said that commitment was consistent with the EU’s effort to assist its traditional suppliers of bananas to improve efficiency and competitiveness, in order to enable them to cope with the changing world market for bananas.
He was speaking at the presentation of materials for the Hurricane Ivan resuscitation programme for the banana industry by the European Union (EU) to the Banana Export Company, at the Boundbrook Wharf in Port Antonio on February 17.
The assistance, which has been provided through the European Union Banana Support Programme (EUBSP), will be given to small and medium scale banana farmers, and consists mainly of fertilizer and herbicides.
Mr. Jarchow noted that the hurricane resuscitation programme was just part of an overall assistance programme the European Union had implemented to enable the local banana industry to increase and diversify production, adding that the European Union has also implemented other assistance programmes aimed at providing direct support for banana production in the traditional banana producing areas.
He pointed out that the total European Union commitment to the banana industry in the ten-year period between 1996 and 2005 was over $3.8 billion, and that this had assisted in securing the economic viability of the banana industry and improving the standard of living in many rural areas.
Mr. Jarchow said the European Union’s support of the post hurricane resuscitation process would not end with this latest assistance, and that the organization would be working on a mechanism to provide direct assistance to small and medium size farmers to help them meet their labour costs and for enabling the hiring of equipment to repair drainage systems damaged by the hurricane.

JIS Social