Coronavirus may disrupt St. Lucia’s food imports warns former minister

Former Minister of Agriculture, Moses Jn Baptiste, is encouraging St Lucians to start farming in their backyards and balconies to alleviate the domino effect that the COVID-19 outbreak may have on the island’s food industry.

Baptiste, the parliamentary representative for Vieux Fort North, on Friday (March 13) said that he anticipates that trade will be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“If things get worst, our imports of food into St. Lucia may be disrupted,” said Baptiste.

Baptiste noted that it was a good time for St. Lucians to increase the production of short-term crops, such as, peas, beans, lettuce, cabbage and tomatoes.

According to Baptiste, farmers should also begin to ramp-up their production of food in general, as it could help the region.

Last year, Taiwanese Ambassador to St Lucia, Douglas Cheng-Tsung Shen, noted that the island spends a tremendous amount of money to import fruits and vegetables- including lettuce, watermelon, cantaloupe and tomatoes from overseas.

St Lucia has an annual food import bill of 4.5 million.