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julian francis
Minister of Works Senator Julian Francis.

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Three persons have been disciplined because of the black signatoka scandal earlier this year, statement by Minister of Works Sen. Julian Francis suggests.

The disease devastated banana cultivation earlier this year because agriculture officials failed to spray against it.

It affects banana leaves and causes the fruits to ripen prematurely, hence affecting the quality of exports to the United Kingdom.

In the latest development in the fall out from that scandal, Winfresh last week proposed that Vincentian banana farmers stop exporting fruit to the U.K. until they resolve quality issues.

Francis, who described himself as a “commess man”, speaking of the black sigatoka scandal, said at a Unity Labour Party rally Sunday night, “somebody get fired for that and somebody get send home for that and somebody gone somewhere else for that”.

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I-Witness News had previously learnt that a Ministry of Agriculture official was sent on 100 days’ leave because of the black sigatoka issue.

Another source said that if action was taken it that regard, it must have been done in the last two weeks.

Francis did not give any further details on the issue Sunday night.

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