Tuesday, June 02, 2015 | 6:00 PM
Agriculture, Labour and Social Security Minister, Derrick Kellier (left)with Commissioner, Jamaica Customs Agency, Major (Ret’d) Richard Reese, during the Ministry’s Plant Quarantine Division’s exporters’ forum, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, on Tuesday (June 2). (Photo: Mark Bell)
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – The Ministry of Agriculture has developed an action plan for submission to the United States Department of Agriculture/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) for consideration and approval for Jamaican mangoes to be exported to the USA.
This comes as the ministry seeks to maximise the opportunities being provided under the USDA’s pre-clearance facility, which currently provides Jamaica with pre-clearance to export some 52 fruits and crops to the United States.
These include breadfruit, calalloo, pineapple, strawberries, and guineps, which were shortlisted prior to 2014, when the facility was extended to incorporate mangoes.
Portfolio minister, Derrick Kellier, says the ministry is currently “moving apace,” under its Global Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Certification Programme, to institute measures conforming to export/import requirements for mangoes under the facility. The varieties targeted include: East Indian, St Julian, and Number Eleven.
Kellier was addressing Tuesday’s opening ceremony for the ministry’s Plant Quarantine Division’s exporters’ forum, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, in New Kingston.
GLOBALGAP is an internationally recognised set of farm standards, and through certification, producers demonstrate their adherence to them.
Noting that the ministry has sought the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) assistance in “determining the way forward” in relation to US mango exports, Kellier advised that a technical cooperation plan has been developed, targeting specific engagements.
These include: conducting a market analysis, indicating both domestic and export potential, conducting a value chain analysis, to make an evidence-based determination of the feasibility for upgrading the value chain, undertaking a feasibility study for hot-water quarantine treatment, and preparatory work to establish the quarantine protocol, based on the USDA’s Systems Approach, once the sector is deemed viable; and developing a mango value chain development and upgrading strategy.
A stakeholders’ consultation was held in May 2015, and the final report will be ready by mid June 2015. “This is an opportunity for the establishment of large acreages of mango orchard and Jamaica needs to take advantage of these provisions which facilitate the speedy export of these non-traditional commodities”, the minister noted.
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