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The JAMAICA blog

Latest news, events and interesting info about Jamaica

Jamaican Bananas

If you donít like bananas, blame Jamaica for it! If you do like bananas, well Jamaica is the reason why. Jamaica was the first country to export bananas establishing a global banana trade. Jamaican crop disease and major competition from Central America did most of the Jamaican banana trade in.

The Banana Industry ceased to operate in the export market since August, 2008.  Having suffered banana desease and major storms in five years. Since then the banana farmers, especially those in the traditional banana parishes such as Portland, St. Mary, St. James and St. Thomas, rely solely on the domestic market.
Despite support from the UK the 'banana wars' which were heavily led by the USA, virtually illiminated small growers in many countries including Jamaica and notably showed the power of the American corporation and its ability to influence trade policies and stamp out competition from smaller organic growers. There are even rumours circulating that the US deliberately infected some other countries like Jamaica with banana diseases which devastated their crops.
Commercial banana plantations use large amounts of toxic pesticides, and cancer or even death from exposure is a concern for workers. Indeed, many of these chemicals are prohibited in North America and Europe, but are still used on large banana plantations. In an attempt to meet the demand for aesthetically perfect bananas, over 400 types of agrochemicals are used.

In fact, more chemicals are used during banana production than any other crop with the exception of cotton. But we dont eat cotton.

So wherever you live, next time you buy bananas, buy organic or fair trade ones. You will be supporting the smaller organic grower, reducing the use of toxins and enjoy a much tastier and healthy fruit.

Though a little smaller than the massive bananas in western supermarkets, the Jamaican banana is absolutely delicious and sweet and deffinately worth having on your trip to Jamaica.

Poisonous bad bananas Jamaican bananas fair trade bananas