Banana Industry Trust Corporation | EU Funding
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EU Funding


The Banana Industry in Saint Lucia has undergone significant developments as a result of changes to the European Marketing Regime,the privatization of the Saint Lucia Banana Growers Association and implementation of the Banana Production Recovery Plan. In response to the rapid changes taking place in the banana industry and the need to formulate appropriate measures, the OECS Secretariat made a request to members of the donor community for assistance to revitalize the ailing banana industry. The assistance sought was for a diagnosis study (jointly funded by the EC and BDDC) of the industry.

From this study, the Council Regulation (EC) No 856/1999 established a Special Framework of Assistance (SFA) for traditional ACP suppliers of bananas which was adopted on 22 April 1999. The Regulation provides for financial and technical assistance to twelve (12) ACP countries, taking account of changes in the marketing arrangements for bananas in Europe following the amendments to the import regime introduced on 1st January 1999. The overall objective of the SFA Programme of assistance is an improvement of competitiveness of traditional ACP banana production. The Council Regulation aims to achieve this goal by funding projects designed, inter alia, to increase banana productivity. Funding is also being made available for diversification where no sustainable increase in competition in the banana sector can be foreseen.

Furthermore, the overall objective of the SFA programmes of assistance is consistent with the EU/EC cooperation objectives, in that it fosters the sustainable economic and social development of developing countries, the smooth and gradual integration of developing countries into the world economy, and the campaign against poverty in developing countries.


Increasing Banana Competitiveness or Diversification

The Council Regulation permits beneficiary countries to use the finance available for technical and financial assistance to improve competitiveness in the banana sector or to support diversification where improvement in the competitiveness of the banana sector is not sustainable. In practice, most beneficiary countries have opted for banana competitiveness in their strategies, even against the increasing uncertainty of the future EU banana regime.

Only the Windward Islands have made specific allocations for diversification (both agricultural and economic) and, in the case of Saint Lucia, for social recovery for those falling out of the industry. It should be noted that the Windward Islands have received considerable amounts of STABEX funds which have been used in the past for banana productivity improvements, and more recently, for diversification and social recovery purposes.


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The European Development Fund Programme Monitoring and Co-ordination Unit (EDF- PMCU) is a European Union (EU) funded initiative within the Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs and National Development. The National Authorizing Officer (NAO) has operational responsibility for the PMCU. The main function of the EDF-PMCU is the administration of European Union funding under various funding arrangements. STABEX, Special Framework Assistance (SFA), and the European Development Fund’s (EDF) funding have been made available to the Government of Saint Lucia and the unit is dedicated to the efficient, optimal and timely use of these funds.


The support provided by the EDF-PMCU to the NAO impacts on the Government of Saint Lucia’s ability to achieve performance targets of the various EU financing instruments. These targets are achieved by supporting the process of planning, implementation, co-ordination and disbursement of EU funding.

Overall Objective

The overall objective of the unit is to ensure the efficient and optimal utilization of EU development assistance in support of national development goals and objectives.


The purpose is to foster more efficient and effective planning, utilization, monitoring and implementation of EU development assistance in Saint Lucia.

Key Results Achieved by EDFPMCU:
  1. Better coordinated and more effectively managed EU Development Cooperation Programmes in Saint Lucia
  2. Successfully implemented EU funded projects according to timeframes and budgets
  3. Successful application to successive branches of new funding under the Cotonou Agreement
  4. Greater leverage in obtaining additional and new EU resources
  5. Effective and efficient accounting for all EU projects and financing instruments
  6. Greater transparency and visibility regarding the utilization of EU funding.
  1. A Programme Coordinator with overall responsibility for the unit
  2.  Two (2) Programme Analysts who coordinate with implementing agencies and the EU Delegation regarding interventions in various sectors
  3. One (1) Administrative Secretary
  4. One (1) Project Accountant
  5. One (1) Assistant Accountant
  6. One (1) Receptionist
  7. One (1) Office Assistant/Driver

The main sources of funding for EU Development Assistance for Saint Lucia are the European Development Fund (EDF) and the Special Framework of Assistance (SFA). Some areas earmarked for assistance include:


  • The construction of a new National Hospital
  • The development of a National Health Strategic Plan


  • Demonstration plots for bananas and pineapples
  • Cocoa Germplasm Bank
  • Rehabilitation of Farm Access Roads
  • Rural Constabulary Pilot Programme


  • Support to the National Skills Development Centre (NSDC)
  • Support to the Saint Lucia Social Development Fund (SSDF)
  • Human Resource Development Centers – Grand Rivere, Belle Vue and Monchy
  • Playing Fields – Corinth, Grand Rivere, La Guerre and Pierrot
  • Boys Training Centers along with the installation of Computer Labs 

Economic Diversification

  • RESTORE – Restoring Economic Strength to Rural Enterprises – Programme, implemented by the Office of Private Sector Relations (OPSR).

The expected results from the activities carried out over the period covered by this programme estimate are:

1. Rural Credit Institutions (i.e. Credit Unions and Cooperative Societies) strengthened in key areas such as:

  • Capacity building
  • Technology upgrading
  • Information management and research
  • Networking and alliance building (nationally and internationally)
  • Institutional development

2. Rural SMEs developed (established and strengthened) through the provision of credit and technical assistance in key economic areas, particular in areas where they have a distinct competitive advantage.

3. Technical and /or professional services provided to rural SMEs to assist them in accessing credit from their local financing institutions.

4. Increased inflow of credit to rural SMEs by Rural Credit Institutions 5.

5. Increase inflow of credit to specially targeted socially vulnerable groups such as youth entrepreneurs and women.

6. Introduction of group lending approaches and other applicable modern approaches to micro financing to increase credit inflow to socially vulnerable groups of entrepreneurs.

7. Improved capability of the rural credit institutions to better access and manage lending to the specially targeted socially vulnerable.

8.  Complimentary credit support schemes introduced (such as skills training and mentorship) to help reduce lending risks of rural enterprises.

Banana Commercialization Programmes - SFA 1999 and SFA 2000 managed by the Banana Industry Trust of Saint Lucia (BIT):

- Twelve (12) irrigation and drainage projects were implemented to increase banana production.

Environmental Management Fund (EMF) of the SFA 2003 Economic and Agricultural Diversification and Poverty Reduction through Integrated and Natural Resource Management managed by the BIT:

- Six (6) natural resource projects implemented.

Banana Commercialization and Agricultural Diversification Programme – SFA 2005 managed by the BIT and Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture:

- To increase the productivity of farm enterprises and support increase agricultural production and marketing, with the focus on non banana commodities. Over forty (40) projects in the banana, cocoa, pineapple, cut flower and cassava sectors were implemented, including farmer training in the relative sectors.

Economic Diversification and Private Sector Development in Saint Lucia, implemented by SEQUA GmbH - Germany:

- The competitiveness and income generating potential of at least thirty (30) private sector agencies improved through investment in human capacity, effective management systems, development and delivery of business support services, productivity enhancement and effective product/service development and marketing and related HRD.

Economic Diversification Competitiveness through Linkages, implemented by the Chamber of Commerce:

- Competitiveness and linkages in the private sector enhanced, exports increased and SMEs in rural areas, in particular, strengthened. This Programme includes, inter alia: Research and Studies; Facilitation of investment in cross sectoral initiatives; Facilitation of investment in Small Business Development.

  • To invest in niche market opportunities between the private sector and community investment involving crosssectoral linkages between tourism, agriculture, culture and local craft
  • To implement a programme to enhance the international competitiveness of the ICT sector