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Embargo on Santo Antão agricultural products near end 25 Julho 2009

The embargo that for the past twenty years has prevented agricultural products from leaving the island of Santo Antão appears close to ending. A step in this direction will be taken today, when work on the Porto Novo vegetable and tuber treatment center will begin. The center was conceived as a way of guaranteeing the elimination of the millipede plague on the island, the main reason for the forced isolation of the products grown on the island, one of Cape Verde’s most productive in terms of agriculture.

In the treatment center, agricultural products will be inspected and certified so that they will be allowed to be “exported” to the rest of the country without running the risk of spreading the millipede blight to all of Cape Verde.

The will be built on the outskirts of the city of Porto Novo, the only point of entry and exit to the island of Santo Antão, and is being financed by the Millennium Challenge Account – Cape Verde.

While construction work is in progress, the Ministry of the Environment and Rural Development will invest in training the sanitary technicians who will accompany the development of plants and wage a more intense campaign against plant diseases and blights on Santo Antão. Indeed, agricultural technicians affirm that the lifting of the embargo on Santo Antão’s farm products will only work if the treatment center operations are accompanied by rigorous sanitary inspection work, as well as increased efforts on the part of farmers to contribute toward combating the millipede blight.

Prime Minister José Maria Neves will preside over the groundbreaking ceremony for work on the Post-Harvest Center today.

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