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Taiwan expert introduce new agriculture know-how to local farmers

[Press Release] Taiwan Technical Mission in Saint Lucia cooperated with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Physical Planning, Natural Resources and Co-operatives of Saint Lucia held the Pitaya(dragon fruit) Production Workshop in Micoud on Feb 28th, 2018.

More than 40 farmers and extension officers attended the event.

The main purpose of workshop is to teach local farmers new know-how to increase potential values of pitaya fruit by field training. Farmers was taught how to establish the pitaya farm by setting pole and plantlets and provided planting materials for commencing their enterprise. The Region 4 agricultural officers will work closely with farmers to ensure that the correct husbandry practices are being implemented.

Mr. Mario Cheng, leader of Taiwan Technical Mission in Saint Lucia, noted that pitaya is easy for planting and management because of its rare insect and disease attacking. Farmers only need to spend half an hour per week for inspection and possibly watering on a 50-pole scale establishment and fruit can be harvested within one year.

The market price is valued at approximately 12EC /per kilo in Saint Lucia. It is a high value and low maintenance crop. He also emphasize that the biggest issue for pitaya management is birds coming to peck at the fruit as it begins to ripen, and this can be easily resolved by sleeve the fruit with a plastic or paper bag.

The Pitaya Production Workshop is part of the on-going “Fruit and Vegetable Demonstration and Extension Project (second phase)”. To date, the Project has implemented 200 field technical advisory services, provided 10,000 seedlings to farmers, and trained over 2,000 farmers, steadily fulfilling its goal of improving local farmers’ competitiveness and revenue. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

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