(JAMAICA OBSERVER) – Jamaica has been granted permission to export mangoes to the United States, Agriculture Minister Audley Shaw said here on Monday.
He said the fruit will have to be prepared under a process commonly referred to as irradiation, which is a food safety measure designed to eliminate disease-carrying bacteria.
Shaw spoke to the Jamaica Observer after meetings with a number of Jamaican importers and exporters, as well as potential investors.
With the green light now given to export the fruit, described as one of the Jamaican products in high demand, Shaw said that “consideration will now have to be given to establishing orchards for these [in-demand] products” in a bid to maximise production to meet demand.
Some importers and exporters who attended the meeting with the minister complained of not being able to secure sufficient supplies of certain products, especially ackee.
Shaw, meanwhile, told the Observer that there was also a “great demand for castor beans, sweet corn, sea island cotton, and coconut from Jamaica”. He said that consideration was being given to refurbishing the old Agricultural Marketing Corporation building on Spanish Town Road to be used by small entrepreneurs who want to invest in products being sought by the US market.
And, speaking at the reopening of the JAMPRO New York office, Shaw said the office is “our primary springboard to tripling our exports to the United States”. The move, he added, would also allow Jamaica to capitalise on the opportunities within the US and global markets to ensure “our sustained economic growth”.