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The programme, which is the brainchild of the Minister of Agriculture, Honourable Crenston Buffonge, uses a rapid increase plantain propagation method known as PIF, to produce a large number of slips.

The Ministry noted that Monday’s distribution of 20 slips to each farmer is the first of more to come as other persons, especially backyard gardeners, have been indicating their interest in receiving plantain slips.  Director of Agriculture, Melissa O’Garro indicated that the Ministry presently has a waiting list of 40 persons, adding that everyone  will not get immediately, but the goal is to eventually give to all persons who have requested.

She further stated, “This programme is extremely timely as Montserrat has been challenged with supplying the local market with plantains.  It is also important as many of the other islands struggle with increasing  incidences of pests and disease which impact the musa species, (plantains fall under the musa species) thereby preventing the importation of plantains and bananas.”

The Ministry hopes  that with the increased availability  of plantains, agro processors will branch into producing  plantain flour and chips, among other food items.

The Ministry of Agriculture intends to continue the programme into next year 

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