Farmers: banana communities band together to rebuild tattered towns
Mark Nucifora lost his Cowley home and 90 percent of his banana crop in Yasi, but 12 months on, a banana glut forcing down prices is his biggest problem.
Images of flattened banana farms throughout Innisfail, Silkwood and Cowley filled newspapers in the days after cyclone Yasi, but a year on a flood of the fruit has hit markets as growers reach full production levels again.
Nearby cane paddocks are flourishing, with growers predicting a bumper crop as long as the heavy rain backs off.
Cyclone Yasi left Innisfail fairly unscathed and most of the cleanup work is complete.
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But in the smaller centres including Silkwood and El Arish insurance and Cowley insurance issues are holding up the recovery and tarps still cover many roofs.
A week after Yasi, almost 500 volunteers hit Silkwood to clean up the village and that community spirit has continued all year according to residents who say they are getting through the disaster by helping each other out.
"It has been tough," resident Carla Campbell said.
"But we are getting there, together. Basically if you need something or a hand here you just ask and someone will help out, it’s been like that for a long time but Yasi strengthened the community in a way, made us hang on tighter."
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Banana grower Mark Nucifora is back packing fruit for markets after the industry recovered from cyclone Yasi. Picture: Tom Lee