Dominica, a small Caribbean island is poised to establish a new national agro-processing facility.
The European Union and the Caribbean Development Bank are making the new facility possible, which is expected to strengthen the food value chain, improve quality standards, and widen access to export markets.
The Project, valued at EURO 158,710, is also supported through the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) Standby Facility for Capacity Building.
The new initiative marks the first phase of the establishment of the new national agro-processing facility in Dominica, aimed at improving the value chain cooperation, strengthening distribution, and contributing to the socio-economic resilience of Dominica.
It will support the re-positioning of the agro-processing sector through greater export compliance with regional and international markets, including the EU. As national implementation partners, both Ministries and DEXIA liaise with agro-producers so they can directly participate in and benefit from the Project.
Head of CDB’s Private Sector Unit Mr. Miguel Almeyda said the new facility will not only allow the agriculture sector to better meet quality standards for export, it will also help to achieve greater food security through the availability of more nutritious food for the people of the region.
“The improved sectoral capacity can also contribute to CARICOM’s commitment to reduce Member States’ food import bill by 25% by 2025,” Almeyda said
Meanwhile, Margaret Roudette-Baptiste, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade, Commerce, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Business Development, said the Government is committed to working with our national partners as well as CDB and the EU towards the successful establishment of this new agro-processing facility for our country to meet quality standards that strengthen food production value chains and attract more export opportunities.”
And David Mogollon, Head of Cooperation for the Delegation of the European Union to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean States, the OECS, and CARICOM/CARIFORUM said the Project will foster inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development to improve Dominica`s agri-food system infrastructure and quality standards.
“These improvements will come through capacity building and equipping of stakeholders and actors in the national agriculture value chain,” he said.
“The project will strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Trade, Commerce, Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Export Development to better coordinate the processing of fresh produce and exploit economies of scale, thereby reducing cost of production and increasing production capacities in Dominica,” said Mrs. Yvanette Baron-George, Deputy Programme Manager, CARIFORUM, added, “This