Two DEXIA multi-purpose pack-houses were officially commissioned on Friday, with the aim of enhancing the quality of produce exported. They are located in Goodwill and Portsmouth. “Their proper and effective functioning will greatly enhance the quality of produce that leaves our country,” Agriculture Minister Johnson Drigo said, at the commissioning ceremony held at Longhouse, Portsmouth on Friday.
“We anticipate that necessary protocol & standard operating procedures will be put in place, to ensure consumers receive high-quality products after being processed through this facility.” He said the pack-houses will serve as clearing houses for all products exported or sold locally in supermarkets. He hopes they will offer package incentives, education, and training for farmers who wish to patronize them. He would like DEXIA to work with the Ministry of Agriculture and others, to ensure efficiency and effectiveness from the facilities.
Meantime, Portsmouth Mayor Titus Francis wants farmers to recognize the effort that was made in constructing the facilities, to provide another avenue, one more step, in ensuring that market access is guaranteed for their products. He said, “I think what is necessary at this point in time, is that our farmers look at how best they can be more productive and efficient. I think it is critical for us to recognize the importance of these facilities, in moving the economy of this country forward”.
Purchasing and installation of equipment for the proper functioning of the facility was made possible under the Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM) program. The Goodwill multi-purpose pack-house was renovated at a cost of EC$1.3 million. The Glanvillia pack-house was constructed at a cost of EC$3.1 million. Remodelling works at both of these facilities, were implemented at a cost of $336,000.
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