St. Lucian farmers have been gifted coconut trees resistant to lethal yellowing in a ceremony in Dennery held on September 12.

The Ministry of Agriculture of St. Lucia and the Centre for Scientific Investigation of Yucatan of Mexico (CICY) spearheaded the project.

The trees were developed in Mexico using a non-GMO tissue culture process, and brought to St. Lucia to aid in preventing the spread of the disease which causes yellowing in coconut trees.

The Ambassador of Mexico, Mr. Oscar Esparza-Vargas, spoke at the ceremony of the flourishing coconut industry in St. Lucia and the employment opportunities it has and continues to create for local farmers.

MR. Esparza-Vargas hopes the 2,300 coconut trees donated at the ceremony will be a safeguard against the plague of yellowing coconut trees in the future.

Others involved in the ceremony include the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Mr. John Calixte, IICA representative to the ECS Mr. John King, local farmers and students of the Grande Reviere Secondary School.