Jamaica News: Approximately 19 farmers in Southern Manchester are now certified to export various crops to international markets, under the good agricultural practices programme, GLOBALGAP.
The farmers, who are based at the New Forest/Duff House Agro-Park, were presented with their certificates on Friday (November 16), during a ceremony held at the facility, which followed a series of training.
Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, in a speech delivered by Chief Technical Director, Courtney Cole, commended the farmers.
He said that the training they have received will redound to increased earnings as they produce for local markets, CARICOM, and the wider global marketplace.
President of the group, Clinton Oscar, said the farmers are all proud to be certified.
He noted that the farm group is working on a business plan “as we want to make full opportunity of the export [prospects] that are available as well as supply schools, hotels and other local markets”.
GLOBALGAP is an internationally recognised set of farm standards, and certification is an assurance that agricultural products have met requirements of safety and quality, and have been produced sustainably, respecting the health, safety and welfare of workers, the environment, and are in consideration of animal-welfare principles.
European supermarket chains are increasingly demanding that their suppliers attain certification such as GLOBALGAP.
The programme is supported by the Government of Jamaica and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), through the Agricultural Competitiveness Programme (ACP).
Value Chain Manager with the programme, Salem Clarke, said 85 small farmers in Jamaica are now certified under the GLOBALGAP initiative. This, he said, is a “massive achievement for the country”.
He told the farmers that they now have “treasures” in their possession and “you can use it collectively, as a group, to access markets overseas”.
Mr. Clarke advised that the farmers can also partner with established exporters in order to enter international markets.
Source: JIS News