Historical background

General

After World War Two, (2) unrest among small farmers desiring better outcomes from their efforts and a heightened demand for banana in Britain, provided impetus for the conception of a centralized banana organization in Jamaica – the All Island Banana growers Association (AIBGA). The AIBGA was established in 1946 to promote, encourage, foster, develop and institute measures for the wellbeing of banana growers of Jamaica and to protect and advance their interests. It was to give Growers an influential voice in the management of their industry. The AIBGA assumed responsibilities for extension work and input supplies sale in the industry. The organization supports all banana and plantain growers and was built on the foundation of group structure with District Branches and Area Councils. The AIBGA has been a strong lobbyist group for growers and mediated among workers, union and larger farms.

Challenges and Accomplishments

* During the 1950s and 60s period was challenging with two major disasters hurricane Charlie (1951) and tropical storm Flora (1963). The Association championed the resuscitation of damaged banana farms in the entire country.

* The AIBGA through its coordinated efforts combated the deadly Leaf Spot infestation epidemic that threatened the mortality of the industry.

* The AIBGA was seminal in the development of research that facilitated the introduction of varieties in the country such as Lacatan, Robusta, Williams, Valerie ad Grand Naine.

* The AIBGA staff pioneered the Soil Fertility Programme and later went on to form what was to be the core of the Research Department of the Banana Board.

* Through vigorous extension work during the 1950s-1980s the AIBGA was instrumental in the Banana Rehabilitation and Expansion Schemes for the industry.