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Countries within the Eastern Caribbean have been plagued with problems associated with
mono-crop production. In particular, the regional banana industry, which has employed a number of
small low-resource farmers, is losing its competitive international advantage. This is as a result of
cheaper bananas being exported to Europe from Central and South American producers and the
dismantling of preferential trading arrangements for the Caribbean under new World Trade Organisation
(WTO) rules. As a result, there is a strong need within the Eastern Caribbean, in particular, to accelerate
efforts towards crop diversification in order to improve the economic standing of these low-resource
As part of the diversification efforts exotic tropical fruit crops including mango, guava, passion fruit,
soursop, sorrel and papaya have shown significant potential in terms of production and marketing within
and outside of the region (Table 1). Several low resource farmers within the Eastern Caribbean are
already producing these crops. With adequate technical assistance backed by sound research to improve
production and post-production systems and support for them to access local, regional and international
markets, there will be economic incentives to diversify their efforts into these commodities.

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