Roseau, Dominica (February 6th, 2017): The Dominica Export Import Agency (DEXIA) Multi-Purpose Pack-Houses (MPPH) continues to boost fresh produce exports from Dominica.
One of the significant milestones in the export of fresh produce to date has been the arrangements made with a client in Barbados for the fortnightly export of a 20 foot refrigerated container of mixed commodities. Another important milestone is the export of a 20 foot refrigerated container of dasheen to the United Kingdom also on a fortnightly basis.
The ongoing support from the Promotion of Regional Opportunities for Fresh Produce through Enterprise and Linkages (PROPEL) for the development of a brand for Dominica’s fresh produce (Dominica! Eat Well… Live Young) in the market place is expected to boost the marketability of our fresh produce and differentiate our fresh produce from that of our competitors.
The export of fresh produce continues to play an important role in foreign exchange earnings and the DEXIA-MPPH will continue to play a critical role in helping to source important markets for our fresh produce. Propel is a project funded by the Government of Canada.
From July 2016 to date, 366,788lbs of fresh produce have been processed in the Pack-houses, and the export figures are promising and show significant potential for future growth. In addition, the quality of produce being exported continues to improve greatly, as exporters using the facilities utilize state-of-the-art washing and grading facilities.
DEXIA-MPPH continues to encourage farmers to sign up on contract with the institution as it seeks to explore market opportunities for a wide range of agricultural produce of commercial export potential, quality and value. Already working with contracted farmers for the production and marketing of dasheen, hot peppers and plantains, additional crops being targeted include sweet potatoes, yams, and cucumbers. Farmers contracted with the DEXIA MPPH are given inputs, provided with technical support and are assured a guaranteed market for their produce.
DEXIA-MPPH is also exploring ways of supporting our hucksters and exporters and is currently developing a pilot credit facility through which hucksters and exporters who qualify for such support will be given financing at very concessionary rates to support their purchase of fresh produce for export from farmers. This facility will be operated as a revolving fund.
In addition to the export of fresh produce, the DEXIA MPPH is also engaged in the research and development of value-added products and currently emphasis is placed on the production of Frozen Dasheen Chunks which gives housewives, cooks and chefs the option to buy a 3 pound pack of ready-to-cook frozen dasheen chunks. Also being developed is frozen passion fruit pulp with recipes for making passion fruit drink.
Through the MPPH improvements to the country’s fresh produce export potential is becoming more realistic through improved post-harvest handling including enhanced packaging and competitive pricing. These advances continue to strengthen Dominica’s position in external markets that demand good quality, competitively priced fresh produce.
The export of Dominica’s fresh produce is managed by the DEXIA Multi-Purpose Pack-houses. The Multi-Purpose Pack House facilities located in Roseau and Portsmouth were built by the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica with financial support from the National Authorizing Office of the European Union and the CARICOM Development Fund to enhance the competitiveness of fresh produce and agro-processed products exported from the Commonwealth of Dominica.