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Agriculture producers from Santo Antão can now export to Sal and Boa Vista 09 Janeiro 2008

After some 24 years of embargo, agricultural products from the island of Santo Antão will soon be able to be “exported” to the islands of Sal and Boa Vista. The decision was made following the elaboration and signing of a “technical protocol” between the Ministry of the Environment and Agriculture and the island’s farmers in October 2004. Many of the island’s products had been prohibited from being taken to the rest of the country for nearly two decades because of the millipede blight.

According to Orlando Freitas, the regional delegate of the Ministry of the Environment and Agriculture, the protocol will be implemented immediately after the construction of the sterilization center.

The plan was elaborated based on a project by the Ministry of the Environment and Agriculture, the Millennium Challenge Account - Cape Verde nucleus and the Association of Producers of Santo Antão, and defines the conditions allowing fruits, vegetables and tubers that are not specific targets of the quarantine because of the Spinotarsus Cabo-verdus (millipede) blight to be exported from Santo Antão to Sal and Boa Vista.

The document will also serve as a reference for the certification and traffic of garden goods produced on the island with the largest cultivated area in Cape Verde. Freitas stresses that “wanderings from the rules to applied will not be permitted, except with the written approval of the Ministry of the Environment and Agriculture.”

The “sterilization center,” work on which will begin soon in Porto Novo, will be the place where the products in question will be inspected and packaged. The Ministry of the Environment and Agriculture plans to oversee the management of the center for the first few months. Administration will then be handed over to a private entity. No producers will be able to export without the approval of a specially-formed technical commission.

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