Former Dominica PM Oliver Seraphin has presented government with a proposal to transport agricultural produce by sea, to external trading partners. A container ship, American Liberty, reportedly valued at US $1.2-million, is currently docked in Dominica, while Seraphin negotiates with the government on the proposal.
The ship can hold up to two refrigerated 40-foot containers, or four 20-foot containers, has roll-on/roll-off technology for movement of cargo, and contains sleeping quarters for eight persons. The corporation says it is seeking to facilitate the movement of agricultural produce between Dominica and its export partners.
“We have offered the government of Dominica a business plan, conceptually to do a marketing strategy for carrying the agricultural produce from farmers here, to the respective territories, for which they have contractual obligations,” Seraphin said during a visit to the ship. “We have given the government of Dominica an offer, to join forces with us, as a private-public sector partnership. That is our priority.”
Seraphin says the process could be of great use to the government, especially now that an abattoir is set to open, for which the government will require imported resources. Food for the animals, for example, can be obtained from the Dominican Republic, which is part of the ship’s route, Seraphin explained.
In October 2013, the government announced that it was in contact with a group of vessel operators to determine all the issues to be considered in acquiring a vessel primarily for transporting Dominica’s agricultural commodities.
At a press conference on Monday October 21st, 2013, Prime Minister Skerrit said a cargo vessel would enable hucksters and companies involved in the trade of agricultural goods to take advantage of markets in the Caribbean. However, it appears none of these efforts have come to fruition to date.
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