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Farmers Encouraged to Seek More Export Opportunities for Certain Crops

Featured Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Derrick Kellier (4th left), in discussion with a representative to Jamaica from the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Dr. Elizabeth Johnson, at the opening of a two-day seminar on Export Management, organized by the Agricultural Competitiveness Programme (ACP), and held at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in Kingston, December 1. Others (from left) are: Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Donovan Stanberry; Minister of State, Hon. Luther Buchanan; and Programme Director for the ACP, Petronia Colley. Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Derrick Kellier (4th left), in discussion with a representative to Jamaica from the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Dr. Elizabeth Johnson, at the opening of a two-day seminar on Export Management, organized by the Agricultural Competitiveness Programme (ACP), and held at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in Kingston, December 1. Others (from left) are: Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Donovan Stanberry; Minister of State, Hon. Luther Buchanan; and Programme Director for the ACP, Petronia Colley.
Farmers are being encouraged  to further tap into export markets that exist for 52 crops that have pre-clearance in the United States, of which Jamaica is filling less than a quarter of the demand.

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Derrick Kellier, says the United States Division of Agriculture has approved simple entry of breadfruit, calalloo, pineapple, strawberries, guineps and other crops into their markets, and farmers and business interests should seize the opportunities.

“Jamaica needs to take advantage of these provisions, which facilitate the speedy export of non-traditional commodities,” the Minister said.

He was delivering the main address at the opening of  a two-day seminar on Export Management, held on December 1, at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in Kingston.

The Minister said the Government is encouraged by the growth in demand for Jamaican commodities in the non-traditional sector, and that concerted efforts have been made to produce certain crops in quantities that can meet the export needs.

“We have been targeting banana, cocoa, local and new varieties of sweet potatoes, watermelons, pepper, mango and spices for the British market, and in Trinidad and Tobago,  we are pursuing the export of dasheen, hot pepper and banana,” he noted.

Mr. Kellier  told the  audience that with the establishment of agro parks, the Ministry has been identifying and training farmers and exporters, and facilitating direct contact between exporters and buyers.

He also noted that the necessary marketing support is in place, which is provided by marketing officers at the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).

The Minister emphasised that it is important for all stakeholders to keep abreast of the requirements which are necessary for successful export marketing, and that farmers and exporters need to look at pricing issues and put plans in place, so that their business can grow.

The  seminar, organised by the Agricultural Competitiveness Programme (ACP), looked at concepts and components in setting up an export business; and marketing strategies for agricultural products in the  local and international markets.