New national agro-processing facility for Dominica

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – With the support of the European Union and the Caribbean Development Bank, Dominica is now working to establish a new national agro-processing facility that will strengthen the food value chain, improve quality standards, and widen access to export markets.

Details of this initiative were presented on Wednesday, 14 September 2022 during the launch of the “Development of a Comprehensive Proposal for the Establishment of a National Multi-purpose Agro-processing Facility Project”, a one-year initiative financed by the European Union (EU) and managed by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

The Project, valued at EURO 158,710, is supported through the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) Standby Facility for Capacity Building.

The agro-processing Project is being implemented by the ministry of trade, commerce, entrepreneurship, innovation, business and export development and the Dominica Export Import Agency (DEXIA) in collaboration with the ministry of blue and green economy, agriculture and national food security.

The new initiative marks the first phase of the establishment of the new national agro-processing facility in Dominica. It begins an ‘end-to-end’ business design and management framework process that will culminate in the development of a comprehensive sustainability plan. Its completion will lead to Phase 2, which involves the construction of the building.

The facility will improve value chain cooperation, strengthen distribution, and contribute 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.

Caribbean News Global dominica_agro New national agro-processing facility for Dominica
(Left to Right) Hannah Clarendon, Chairperson, Dominica Export and Import Agency (DEXIA); David Mogollon, Head of Cooperation, Delegation of the European Union to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean States, the OECS and CARICOM/CARIFORUM; Paula Platsko, General Manager, DEXIA; Margaret Roudette- Baptiste, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade, Commerce, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Business Development; Miguel Almeyda, Head of Private Sector Unit, Caribbean Development Bank; Fidel Grant, Minister of Blue and Green Economy, Agriculture and National Food Security; and Dr Kira Paul, Permanent Secretary (Acting), Ministry of Blue and Green Economy, Agriculture and National Food Security.

During the Project launch, Miguel Almeyda, head of CDB’s private sector unit, emphasised that: “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 percent by 2025.”

Margaret Roudette-Baptiste, permanent secretary in the ministry of trade, commerce, innovation, entrepreneurship and business development, spoke at the launch, and added: “The government of the Commonwealth of Dominica expresses sincere gratitude to our development partners as we welcome this Project. We are 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.”

David Mogollon, head of cooperation for the delegation of the European Union to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean States, the OECS and CARICOM/CARIFORUM added:This 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.

Yvanette Baron-George, deputy programme manager, CARIFORUM, added: “This 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.” 

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