IICA special adviser calls for stronger institutional framework to increase Dominican exports

Dr. Patrick Antoine, IICA special adviser

Special adviser to the Director General of the Inter-American Institution for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Dr. Patrick Antoine, has said that exports need to be increased in Dominica by ensuring that there is a strong architectural and institutional frame work.

Dr. Antoine was one of the presenters at a session held by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), in collaboration with the Dominica Manufacturer’s Association (DMA), and the Dominica Export Import Agency (DEXIA) under the theme “Business and Trading Opportunities for the Regional Agri-food Sector“.

The session included an open dialogue with the agri business sector, highlighting opportunities within CARICOM and beyond, and key issues that hinder Dominican producers and exporters from taking advantage of these opportunities.

“I think we need to bring the numbers of exporters up but the architecture that we need to trade, the institutional frame work has become more complex. So increasingly, just to engage the exports at all without producing the numbers, you need to have a robust architectural and institutional frame work which calls for a lot of bureaucracy because you have to be adding new competencies.” he said

Antoine made special mention of a “payment gateway” which involves transactions that Dominicans can engage online to market and sell their products.

“We finally put a credible agricultural product exchange together for Dominica where people can market their product,” he said. “We can put payment gateways in place because talking about the northern Caribbean where you want people to get your product, if you really want to talk about engaging in exports and you are small producers, your biggest friend should be the information and communication technology.”

Gregoire Thomas, Dexia General Manager

General manager of Dexia, Gregoire Thomas, who also spoke at the conference, pointed to a strategy which DEXIA has implemented for the development of Dominica’s exports.

“In 2009, DEXIA developed the national export strategy and at the time, we received some support from the CAT fund to establish the mechanism for the implementation of the national export strategy which started for two years and from the strategy, we identified the sectors that would give Dominica the best advantages in regards to our growth and development,” Thomas said.

He added, “We were looking at agriculture and agri business. From it, we identified the crops that gave them the best opportunity in terms of export and among them, were the root crops, peppers, coffee and cocao.”

He says one of the biggest challenges in the export business in Dominica is commitment.

“The funding lasted for 2 years and when it ended that was it. And that is a challenge that we have. We’ve done some good work and I know we identify the things that we want to do, but one of the biggest challenges that we have is commitment to action,” he explained. “To date we have not had the kinds of resources to continue along the path of the early years but DEXIA has continued in terms of our whole program to see what it is we can do to expand our export.”

Thomas also mentioned a new initiative which DEXIA has started in order to have consistency in crop production.

“we have started a program called a “production support program” where we try to incentivize farmers and get into contract production so that at least for some of the basic crops where we say we have a competitive advantage, that we can have consistency in terms of volumes,” he stated.

“We have to act together and make things happen. Now is the time to do it,” Thomas declared.

Participants at the agri food session

Disclaimer: The comments on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of DominicaNewsOnline.com/Duravision Inc. All comments are approved by DominicaNewsOnline.com before they are posted. We never censor based on political or ideological points of view, but we do try to maintain a sensible balance between free speech and responsible moderating.

We will delete comments that:

  • violate or infringe the rights of any person, are defamatory or harassing or include personal attacks
  • a reasonable person would consider abusive or profane
  • contain material which violates or encourages others to violate any applicable law
  • promote hatred of any kind
  • refer to people arrested or charged with a crime as though they had been found guilty
  • contain links to "chain letters", pornographic or obscene movies or graphic images
  • are excessively long and off-topic

See our full comment/user policy/agreement.

15 Comments

  1. Amanda
    December 16, 2018

    What about local produce. Look st the imported none sense in stores. Delia should promote local.take a look at st. Lucian stores. Delia should gocusnon going local before focusing on export.

  2. viewsexpressed
    December 15, 2018

    “IICA special adviser calls for stronger institutional framework to increase Dominican exports….”
    Thank you very much Sir, like we say here, “You hit the nail on the head”.. And we are not going to see any changes as long this corrupt Labour Government and its failed inept Prime Minister Skerrit, along with his blind 18 useless ministers are in government, we will continue to be that failed state.
    Our institutions are weak, corrupt, compromised, under resourced and not promoted nor supported with the relevant tools and resources (human & otherwise) to make it work and functional.
    We have seen this thriving agricultural and cultural Country, producing alot of food and fish with sales going to our Caribbean neighbours. Now it is corrupt passport bobol practices why Canada has imposed visa restrictions on us. Why…?Because, they see too many funny looking Dominicans entering their Canada and are suspicious of who is who. Dominicans, friends at home at abroad, we need Skerrit…

  3. Pipo
    December 15, 2018

    Yawn, you see Severin Mckenzie asleep there already. At least I hope they give them free lunch.

  4. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    December 14, 2018

    “Special adviser to the Director General of the Inter-American Institution for Cooperation on Agriculture  Patrick Antoine, has said that exports need to be increased in Dominica by ensuring that there is a strong architectural and institutional frame work.”

    I am puzzled, I do not understand what agriculture have to do with architectural, and institutional frame work! 

    Architecture; “architectural” define as the art, or science of building or the practice of designing and building habitable structures.

    Agriculture; is simply the science art or practice of cultivating  the soil producing crops; even if we are talking about science in both cases, I do not see what one has to do with the other.

    Something does not make any sense!  Nevertheless, in Dominica things seldom make sense! 

    • viewsexpressed
      December 15, 2018

      Francisco, the institutions in Domininca are weak and heavily compromised. From where I sit and observed and yawn in disgust, you better believe me. There is no proper or credible behaviour in managing our products that it is elevated to a level of good quality, productivity, timing and shipping to established partners within the Caribbean first (what it use to be) and to target the international trade avenue. This Francisco, you are not going to get under this corrupt Labour Regime and lead by the most and worse Prime Minister you `ll ever see in Domininca and the Caribbean. This is political play boyish behaviour we have in Domininca and people rant and rave and shout “We Love our PM Wi..!!”. You see, Skerrit is the priority not Domininca, not the farmers, not the families, not the up and coming young students, but its all about Skerrit Bobol attitude being promoted. We need this Skerrit out of government and out of the business of Domininca. SOS, SOS Help. Skerrit is a Big…

  5. badbjae
    December 14, 2018

    Dr. Patrick Antoine, IICA special adviser said ““I think we need to bring the numbers of exporters up but the architecture that we need to trade, the institutional frame work has become more complex. So increasingly, just to engage the exports at all without producing the numbers, you need to have a robust architectural and institutional frame work which calls for a lot of bureaucracy because you have to be adding new competencies.”

    Defoe pointed to a lack of support for people involved in the manufacturing association as another major concern. “I think there’s a challenge that should concern everyone, that we have bureaucracies that support the Dominica Manufacturers Association’s efforts that far outweigh the people that are being supported.

    Do we or don’t wee need more bureaucracies. I am a perplexed after reading these two commentaries.

    • viewsexpressed
      December 15, 2018

      What we currently have is what you see. We have bureaucracies that are not well serviced, supported within the system. The civil servants are good people and professionals who want to get on with the work but are interfered, compromised, ignored as they go on with their professional tasks, but we have some politicians within ght government system who knows nothing at all but demand certain things happen outside of the Protocal. This government ministers and fly by night cubs, undertake tasks away from the professionals and expect results, that is why we are in a failed state. We need change, and Now. Skerrit must Go, he is a big failure.

  6. Joseph John
    December 14, 2018

    DEXIA have been operating for over 40 years and it is still being subsidized by government and its main source of income is the import and retail (wholesale) of flour , rice and sugar. DEXIA should be operating like food brokers.They should know the demands of the market, tell the farmers what they need and have contractual arrangements for performance. They can use Bello as a model, they can use hucksters also. These hucksters can make a profit without formal organization or subsidies.
    DEXIA should be operating above the bottom line.
    Dominica should have strategies for import substitution and export. By now we should have a trade surplus on Agricultural goods, FOOD ; for food security. Since DEXIA has subsidized advantage they could organized groups of new famers in various specialized crops and pay their wages as startups or for mobilization for one year before harvest time. Then buy all.
    The answer may lie in organizing Hucksters (TRADERS) as a business for profit.

    • Anonymous
      December 15, 2018

      We could do away with Dexia because it only costs us money and delivers inferior merchandise not not always on time.
      Let the merchants take care of this direct and so promote competition and variety. That Dexia thing smelling too much of an outdated soviet institution.

      • Joseph John
        December 15, 2018

        Yes we can and should. Give the sugar to Whichchurch, flour to Shillingfod and Rice to Nassief and monitor and control the retail price.
        Then organize and expand the huckster trade . They already know market penetration and mantainance and expansion. They may want to improve on regularity of delivery and quality control. And contractual arrangements. How to get paid. The use of banking facilities and invoicing. That’s not all, but we get the idea for formal trade, business practices and professional practice.
        That’s all I will be saying on this, the professionals know better than me.

  7. viewsexpressed
    December 14, 2018

    More meetings, more issues, more talk, more failed hopes, more promises and yet this island is unable to produce the products to make Dominica this real independent country. Is it because we have a very incompetent Labour government in place headed by an immature political clown whom the people of Domininca has asked to get lost, go away? You are a failure to us. This person Skerrit and his corrupt Labour government. For 18 years this corrupt Labour government have failed to get things done.
    Skerrit, it is tie to go. Go morocco, Go Venezuela, Go Cyprus, Go Morocco and take it from there.
    Good Bye, you ahevfailed us.

  8. carltymas
    December 14, 2018

    Dr. Antoine is right. Reviewing the institutional framework of the agricultural industry specifically at the grassroots level would benefit the agricultural export market in Dominica. We must acknowledge that the agriprenuers are the key components of this industry and they themselves MUST invest in this industry especially investments in technological advances. Dr. Antoine suggested an idea that our agriprenuers rarely do and that is; the use of communication and Information to promote Dominica’s market and their product as well as increases in human capital. These are areas that the Farmers Association need to look into. How THEY can effectively and efficiently contribute to the development of this industry.
    In terms of funding, my only comment is this: We must not depend on the consistency of funding especially in this current economic climate, let’s learn to turn a dime into a dollar. Keyword Revolving funds.

    • Your auntie brother
      December 15, 2018

      Consistency of funding but we must not dependance it??? Boy, double talk and contradiction in one sentence. Is gobbledygook you passing for intellect. A simple farmer talking more sence than you.

      • Joseph John
        December 15, 2018

        This guy talks just like Linton.

      • carltymas
        December 17, 2018

        Sir, If you cannot understand something, it is best to ask what is being implied before striking an attack. I think my comment was quite clear and simple to understand with no contradiction but, because it seems that you lack understanding od what was said, I’ll explain. We must not rely on the fact that funding will always be available or disbursed to us, hence we must be efficient. We must learn that when money is given to us, we must invest it in such as way that more will be available to us for future expect for certain situations in infrastructure, social welfare, etc,
        By the way, you used the wrong account to tell me about “goggledygook”. You told me that same nonsense, under a different name, on a different article.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

:) :-D :wink: :( 8-O :lol: :-| :cry: 8) :-? :-P :-x :?: :oops: :twisted: :mrgreen: more »

 characters available