Transforming St Lucia’s floriculture industry

The Global Environment Fund (GEF) Small Grants Project has, through the award of a pilot project, been assisting the Saint Lucia Floral Co-operative Society to transform the local floral industry by integrating less toxic inputs into the production process.

Over thirty farmers have been trained and registered as practitioners of Good Agricultural Practices, using green/organic methods.

Whereas Saint Lucia’s agricultural importation bill is primarily made up of food products, a reduction in the level of importation of cut flowers and plants can provide and improve the livelihood of farmers. The Floral Co-operative encourages its members to produce anthuriums, ginger lilies, heliconias, orchids and foliage for local consumption and export.

However in an endeavor to be competitive, the Floral Co-operative with the assistance of the Ministry of Agriculture urged flower producers to make their own plant nutrients and treatments for use on their farms.

At this time specific attention is being given to increase the number of farmers who grow orchids commercially, but using green/organic methods. To that end, over the next few months, the thirty farmers will be testing the non-synthetic plant inputs to grow eight varieties of dendrobium orchid plants.

Read more at St. Lucia News Online

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