Two multi-purpose packhouses officially commissioned in Dominica

The facility in Portsmouth
The facility in Portsmouth

Two multi-purpose packhouses were officially commissioned on Friday in Dominica, geared at enhancing the quality of produce being exported.

The DEXIA Multi-Purpose packhouses are located in Goodwill and Glanvillia, Portsmouth.

“The proper and effective functioning of this facility will greatly enhance the quality of produce that leaves our country,” Agriculture Minister Johnson Drigo said at the official commissioning ceremony held at Longhouse, Portsmouth on Friday. “We anticipate that the necessary protocol and standard of operating procedures will be put in place to ensure that the consumer receives a high-quality product after being processed through this facility.”

He pointed out that the packhouses will serve as a caring house for all products being exported or being sold locally in supermarkets.

“The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is poised and is ready, most of our farmers are also ready, others will be ready in the coming months as their crops mature and will be prepared for processing and marketing through the multi-purpose packhouse,” Drigo said.

He hopes that the commissioning of the facility will include a package of incentive, education, and training for farmers to be able to patronize it.

He stated that DEXIA must continue to work with the Ministry of Agriculture and others to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness from the facilities.

Drigo indicated that government is serious about implementing measures to improve exports of high quality through its mandate derived from the Fresh Produce Export Quality Control Act of 2009.

Meantime, Mayor of Portsmouth, Titus Francis called on farmers to recognize the effort that has been made in constructing the facility to provide another avenue, one more step, in ensuring that market access is guaranteed for their products.

“I think what is necessary at this point in time is for our farmers to look at how best they can be more productive, more efficient…” he stated.

Francis mentioned also that recognizing the government has made this contribution in itself is a sign of commitment on the part of the government of Dominica, “in recognizing the critical role that agriculture has to play in the economic development as well as the livelihood of our people.”

“I think it is critical for us to recognize the importance of these facilities in moving the economy of this country forward,” he stated.

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 packhouse was renovated to the tune of EC$1.3 million, the Glanvillia packhouse was constructed in the sum of EC$3.1 million, while remodeling works were also completed in the sum of $336,000 at both of these facilities.

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9 Comments

  1. jonathan st jean
    July 24, 2016

    One would have thought that since there were multi-purpose pack houses in the country in the 1990’s that this would have enhanced the quality and quantity of exports of agricultural commodities.However production in the sector declined and these facilities were allowed to deteriorate.Now when the promised hotels have not transformed the economy they are desperate to find something else.One gets the impression that the country is only now discovering agriculture and are excited about it’s potential.Hogwash.Skerritt you killed the goose that laid the golden egg now you are putting a bandage on the sore you created.I f the quantity of products are not there in sufficient quantities to make these pack houses viable they will suffer the same fate as the previous ones the country received as gifts in the 1990’s.

  2. amanda
    July 24, 2016

    Farmers are productive enough; need proper marketing for products. Need tostop importing items that are grown locally; till then there is no use.rt
    Nice to see a start; hoping it will be embraced.

  3. Jon Jones
    July 24, 2016

    Why have all the comments relating to this article disappeared?

    • Jon Jones
      July 24, 2016

      Apologies, wrong article.

  4. July 23, 2016

    Bulk packaging of fresh farm produce is one thing but more important is the development of a point-of-sale end product.

    The very term “pack house” speaks of a mindset that is fifty years out of date. What we should be doing is processing, preserving and innovatively packaging for the local, regional and international markets. By these means we can prevent crop wastage, extend shelf-life and increase profits.

  5. jim jones
    July 22, 2016

    good job form my government thanks sako

  6. just saying
    July 22, 2016

    here we go again IN PORTSMOUTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  7. Bien
    July 22, 2016

    Hmm. Don’t want to be a wet blanket, but I sincerely hope the users appreciate it and take care of it rather than allow politics to cloud their every sense of reasoning.
    It’s for all of us.

  8. Dominican
    July 22, 2016

    They open that again?

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