ST GEORGE’S, Grenada – The ministry of agriculture and lands welcomed its first-ever low-temperature storage facility, now installed at the Chinese Agricultural Mission at La Sagesse St David.
This new initiative provides an opportunity for Grenada to be on par with other countries in the management of food preservation and storage.
The facility was commissioned on December 12, 2019, during the closing ceremony of a three-week Bi-lateral seminar on Cold Storage Logistics Management, which was sponsored and facilitated by the ministry of commerce of the People’s Republic of China. Over 30 participants from the public and private sectors were trained in good storage and distribution practices.
This facility will ensure that local produce such as fruits, vegetables, and meats can be chilled or frozen; thus, prolonging shelf life, in an effort to ensure food and nutrition security.
The seminar was coordinated by the Department of the Public Administration (DPA), and permanent secretary, Rhonda Jones, viewed this training as part of the government’s agenda in building logistics in that area.
“Cold Chain Logistics makes a lot of sense to us in the government of Grenada at this point, as we are exploring ways to boost our agriculture industry and manufacturing capabilities. With such critical infrastructure in place, we are setting the stage to do just that. We thank the ministry of agriculture for its support in shaping the outcomes for this course and we look forward to our continued partnership in offering training and development support to boost this sector,” she stated.
The installation and existence of this facility was made possible through the kind cooperation and sponsorship of the People’s Republic of China.
Making remarks at the ceremony was His Excellency Dr Zhao Yongchen, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China, encouraged participants to apply what they have learned to help contribute to agriculture development in Grenada.
“Over the past 15 years, agriculture has always been the focal point of cooperation between our two countries. I am glad to see that agriculture demonstrations have been carried out in many places. Participants, you are expected to make full use of what you have learned during the seminar and contribute to the socio and economic development of Grenada,” the ambassador said.
Minister for agriculture Yolande Bain-Horsford was on hand for the official hand over of the facility. She used that opportunity to compliment the organizers and facilitators of the seminar while noting that food storage and preservation are very important in the agricultural sector.
“You must be aware,” she said, “that proper food storage ensures that food is made available long after it is harvested in the field and in that respect Cold Storage technology can effectively contribute towards the attainment of one of the main pillars of food security; that is, food availability.”
“Equally important is the fact that Cold Storage Technology can contribute in no small measure towards the implementation of the 2030 agenda and the sustainable development goals related to, inter alia, ending hunger and poverty; food security; improve nutrition; climate action; sustainable agriculture and fisheries; health and well-being,” she added.
Giving the participants’ perspective on the course was the agriculture instructor, Sherwyn Joseph. He spoke on the benefits that can be derived from what was taught.
“This in return will give us the ability to extend the shelf life of our produce, improve the quality, reduce wastage and provide us with the capability of receiving high valued and also exportation of high valued low-temperature goods with international standards. The assembling of the low-temperature storage facility gave hands-on experience in constructing and also for improving our current and future facilities on the island,” he said.