Tuesday, 16th July 2024

Hurricane Beryl destroys 80-100% banana, plantain crops in Jamaica: Reports

The General Manager of the board, Janet Conie, said that officers are still on the ground and are assessing the losses in spite of the access and communication issues.

Tuesday, 9th July 2024

Jamaica: The preliminary assessments undertaken by the Banana Board showcase that around 80 to 100 percent of bananas and plantain crops have been lost due to the passage of Hurricane Beryl in Jamaica.

According to the information, so far, the board has conducted assessments in the major banana-producing parishes around St Mary, St Thomas, St James, Portland, St Catherine, and Clarendon.

The General Manager of the board, Janet Conie, said that officers are still on the ground and are assessing the losses in spite of the access and communication issues.

She noted that the commercial banana farmers, which are around 1564 hectares on the ground, have undergone around 90 percent in losses, so this is a great loss, and the team is still assessing. Conie further said that her team is presently focusing on farmers recovering from this major setback quickly.

The General Manager continued to say that she has asked the farmers to go back to their farms as soon as possible, and if there are bunches that are down and are not being taken out right away, Conie is asking the farmers to cover them. 

This is because if they are exposed to the sun, they will be damaged, and the farmers will not be able to sell them. 

In addition to this, she advised that farmers can leave lunches of fruits that are not ready yet but are still attached to the plant to allow for the fruit’s continued development. 

Janet Conie added that where this is not possible, and bunches can be sold, her team is asking them to chop up, which entails cutting off sections of the plant that are broken or bent and which may be rotting. 

She also mentioned that the board is asking if these are fruits that the farmers can hold in cold storage or a ripening room, and this is the first thing that every farmer should do. Meanwhile, if they are in the field, the farmers must cover them and then try to sell as much as they can, as it is going to take them another nine months to recover or long.