Nutmeg disease affecting production

Published: Wednesday | October 26, 2011 Comments 0

Grenada's famous nutmeg, recovering from the devastation caused by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, is facing another challenge - the nutmeg-wilt disease.

Agriculture Minister Denis Lett, who has made an appeal for assistance at the just-ended Ministers of Agriculture of the Americas, said the disease could have a devastating impact on the sector.

"We need the experts to come in to assist us in treating this disease, we have been speaking to people. IICA (Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture) has already sent a pathologist to have a look at it to see what can be done, we have a problem," he said.

Lett said that if the nutmeg-wilt disease is eradicated, Grenada will reclaim the number-two spot in the world in nutmeg production.

"So far, it is coming back nicely, production is going up and the farmers are very interested in getting back to the land and replanting, but the one setback at this time is the disease," he said.

Nutmeg wilt occurs when soil fungi attacks the nutmeg trees causing them to drop their leaves and fruit.

Lett, like many of his other colleague ministers at the meeting, also voiced concern about the level of regional cooperation in agriculture.

He said while Grenada has had a good market with Trinidad and Tobago, so much more needs to be done.

"Much more should be done, we used to have a good market with Trinidad, especially on Tuesdays, that has changed, we have to work together or we will be in big big trouble," he noted.

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