Before banana lost its crown


June 27, 2017
George Parnell

Kensington resident George Parnell is not able to tell his exact age, as according to him, his "age paper kinda laas". However, Rudley, as he is commonly called, can recall the days when banana was king in Kensington, St James.

The elderly farmer says he was born sometime in the 1940s and grew up in the community, where he later worked on a very prosperous banana farm.

"Mi usually carry banana fi one man name DeLisser. Him dead gone yah now. Dem wash di banana and put dem inna one crate and put plastic ova dem and put di box pon dem, an by di time it fi ketch a America and England dem well ripe," Rudley told The WESTERN STAR.

"We used to sell banana by di truckload. Dem deh time deh neva stay like now. Whole heap a banana like nuttn. Di DeLisser dem usually have fi dem own boxing station and box dem own banana and dem gat dem own truck weh come load and go straight a Montego Bay go unload and sen go Englan, 'Merica and Canada," he added.

Rudley said nowadays banana production has dwindled significantly.

"Everyting haffi cut dung yah now, you know, becaw di bigga people dem like DeLisser dem gone yah now, an a dem did gat di nuffis money," he said. "Banana used to deh all bout. To di amount a banana, all weekend time it caan cut off. All Sunday you a carry banana and it can't done. People tap farm banana nuff because dem say dem naw mek no money."

"Di population did big and so forth. Right yah now di shop dem kinda cut dung becaw nuff a di people dem kinda dead out. Right yah now mi wouldn't mind if di Banana Board start buy back banana and set up di boxing station. Right yah now mi woulda start work an get nuff money an dem way deh," he said.

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