Taiwan’s $EC 5 million contribution to St. Lucia for agriculture

ST. LUCIA – The Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) has announced an EC$5 million aid package to Saint Lucia in the wake of the passage of Hurricane Tomas. This announcement was made by Ambassador, His Excellency Tom Chou, during a weekend meeting with Prime Minister Stephenson King.

Ambassador Chou said the funds would be used for helping the agricultural sector and the repair of specific public facilities damaged by Hurricane Tomas. The Ambassador also announced Taiwan’s Technical Mission would work closely with the Ministry of Agriculture in an effort to rehabilitate that industry within the shortest possible time.

Ministry of Agriculture officials with the support of the Taiwanese agricultural experts have identified several cash crops which will provide rapid yield, thus enabling that sector to regain its footing after the battering from the hurricane.

Ambassador Chou is hopeful that the assistance will encourage farmers to re-plant and produce vegetable and fruit crops to supply domestic demand as well as generate revenue from these short-term cash crops.

The Taiwanese aid initiative will fund the repair of greenhouses, re-cultivate twenty (20) hectares of vegetable crops and three (3) hectares of fruit crops. This initiative will target 460 farmers who will be invited to join the re-cultivation program.

Officials estimates an average value of $EC 40,000 per hectare in returns through the cultivation of identified cash crops within a three (3) month period.

The program projects a total amount of $EC 920,000 in revenue to be generated over the 3-month period.

The Ministry of agriculture will provide details shortly on the implementation of this disaster relief program.

Repairs to specific public facilities under the Taiwanese aid package, will be identified jointly by the two governments in the near future.

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