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.