Black Sigatoka Campaign

Efforts to modernise and develop SVG’s agriculture sector continued last week with specialised training for the key players in the fight against the Black Sigatoka disease.

A release from the Ministry of Agriculture says Spray Men, Assessors, and Supervisors spent Wednesday and Thursday in workshop and field exercises on Black Sigatoka management.

Special focus was placed on the proper use of the mist blower for the critical ground spraying. The training was spearheaded by St. Lucian Christopher Lubin, a Crop Protection and Pesticide Use Management expert who has worked extensively throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

The training exercise is one of the activities of the Banana Accompanying Measures – BAM, a European Union funded programme which is intended to modernise and develop agriculture in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Lubin’s training focused on timely treatment and control of the disease, more efficient use of the machines, and using wind strength and direction for more effective  spray coverage on the targeted plants.

Black Sigatoka has severely affected banana production in                 St. Vincent and the Grenadines over several years.  The disease destroys the sunlight absorbing capacity of established leaves and severely damages new ones as they are formed, leading to significant weight loss and premature ripening of fruit.