Grenada advances soursop cultivation to boost export

Dr Abel Reboucas with farmers

Grenada remains the only Caribbean country with approval to export fresh soursop to the United States market. Despite this position, low production is among the issues preventing the consistent export of high-quality soursop in the volumes needed to meet the demands of buyers.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Fisheries and Cooperatives, is working to address this challenge by increasing and improving the production capacity and export of this and other high potential agriculture products.

Through FAO’s Technical Cooperation Programme, the partners are working on a two-year project to promote competitive, sustainable, and resilient national value chain development in Grenada, focusing on the soursop and sea moss sectors.

Under this initiative, FAO recently conducted a weeklong mission in the country to work with some 120 public and private sector stakeholders on developing the soursop sector. During the week of November 20 to 25, 2023, FAO Production Expert, Dr Abel Rebouças delivered comprehensive soursop production training on good agricultural practices to encourage maximum yields of the fresh fruit. The trainings were conducted in the field and in the classroom and were designed specifically for technicians and farmers.

According to a participant, Mr Joshua Lewis, “the training showed me and the trainees how to increase production in soursop using hand pollination, pruning and fertilizers. Soursop production is an area where Grenada has a distinct advantage being the only country that’s allowed to export fresh soursop into the United States. Nevertheless, Grenada produces less than 1% of the total soursop production. l am looking forward to increasing production and receiving more follow up technical support for the industry.”

In addition, the FAO team also met with the Ministry to assess the state of their main nursery and propagation station, which resulted in several recommendations to upgrade the facility. It is expected that these recommendations will be implemented over the coming months to allow the facility to better support the demand for planting materials from local farmers.

Commenting on the activity was Mr Aaron Francois, Permanent Secretary who stated that “the Ministry of Agriculture was immensely pleased with the weeklong training that was delivered by the FAO consultants on helping Grenada to improve overall production and export in soursop. The information to all of our stakeholders was very timely and appropriate and the Ministry looks forward to continuing to collaborate and support all the efforts to ensure that positive results are realized in our soursop fields and the quality and quantity of fruits that we export as we continue to build our soursop value chain.”

A workshop to validate a five-year Soursop Upgrading Strategy was also led by FAO Value Chains Development Specialist, Mr Jefferson Jaikissoon, during the week. The Strategy was designed by the public and private sector stakeholders earlier this year to improve the functionality and efficiency of the soursop value chain. During the workshop, the stakeholders agreed on four strategic areas including, improving the technical capacities of the production base and access to services to boost supply efficiency, strengthening and sustaining growth through expansion of commercial production, enhancing the efficiency of the mid-supply chain functions and marketing and strengthening the support services and enabling environment for improved coordination and governance of the soursop sector.

Commenting on the development of the sector, Mr Juan Cheaz Pelaez, FAO Trade and Markets Officer for the Caribbean and Lead Technical Officer for the project remarked that, “Grenada has the unique advantage of operating in a niche export market. We are therefore channelling every effort into building the knowledge and technical capacity of value chain stakeholders to encourage sustainable and consistent production of high-quality produce to ensure continued access to the export market”.

He added that “FAO’s work to develop a market-oriented soursop value chain, alongside stakeholders, is strategic as it enables public sector agencies to engage effectively with other value chain actors and help to create a better environment for sector development, increased exports, greater private sector investment and stronger incomes over the next five years”. FAO anticipates that in the coming years the soursop industry, and the agriculture sector in general, will aid the country in transitioning to a more diversified and sustainable economy that supports resilient
economic growth.

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  1. We Know Better
    December 1, 2023

    “..the only Caribbean country with approval to export fresh soursop to the United States market”.
    translation –
    Their market is closed to us. No choice in the matter but to find markets elsewhere while you starve (the trick) and keep your store shelves open for their products due to paperwork you signed with the WTO. Look who’s telling you that… the FAO. Both are instruments they use to keep you poor and in line; otherwise they SANCTION you to stay poor and broke, like the African countries they bully into abject poverty while they suck the resources.
    Others, IMF & World Bank are coming to shake you up to take loans you don’t need or face their raft (abject poverty). Closed! It’s a done deal.
    Align with China and Russia if you are to benefit from agricultural agreements, and quit signing E.U paperwork that will eventually re-engineer your male citizens.

  2. RastarMarn
    December 1, 2023

    And Skerrit want to build more Hotels and talking @$$niss about Tourism!!!

    Wasn’t Dominica Called the Bread Basket of the Caribbean nuh once upon a time!!!

    People from all over used to come work on the flourishing Estates,,,

    Now Dumb-Boy want to have people stuck in Stupid with him following some foolish dream about Tourism!!!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1
  3. Noonie
    November 30, 2023

    oh gosh….what is Dominica advancing in? layou river hotel? Morocco hotel…? cable cart in the air? cruise village? crabs i hole to build them villa? bin borbol….what is Dominica planting?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2
  4. Possie Direct
    November 30, 2023

    Well Skerrit doesn’t have to concentrate on soursop or any crop to export when he has CBI passport factory he can ship to crooks and criminals around the world

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

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