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Jamaica looking to export mangoes to US

Published:Friday | June 5, 2015 | 6:00 AM

Jamaica says it has developed an action plan for submission to the United States Department of Agriculture/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) for the importation of local mangoes into the United States.

The Ministry of Agriculture says it is seeking to maximise the opportunities being provided under the USDA's pre-clearance facility, which currently provides Jamaica with pre-clearance to export some 52 fruits and crops to the United States.

Agriculture Minister Derrick Kellier said the ministry is currently "moving apace," under the Global Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification programme, to institute measures conforming to export/import requirements for mangoes under the facility.

Kellier, addressing an exporters' forum, said that the ministry has sought the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation's assistance in "determining the way forward" in relation to US mango exports.

He said that a technical cooperation plan has been developed, targeting specific engagements.

These include: conducting a market analysis, indicating both domestic and export potential; conducting a value chain analysis, to make an evidence-based determination of the feasibility for upgrading the value chain; undertaking a feasibility study for hot water quarantine treatment, and preparatory work to establish the quarantine protocol, based on the USDA's Systems Approach, once the sector is deemed viable; and developing a mango value chain development and upgrading strategy.

"A stakeholders' consultation was held in May 2015, and the final report will be ready by mid-June 2015. This is an opportunity for the establishment of large acreages of mango orchard," Kellier said, urging local exporters to collaborate with the agriculture and fisheries ministry to take advantage of the opportunities to export more of the other fruits and crops on the USDA pre-clearance facility list.

"There are opportunities here, and Jamaica needs to take advantage of these provisions which facilitate the speedy export of these non-traditional commodities," Kellier said, adding that "in our agro parks, we are also targeting non-traditional produce, including sweet potatoes, melon, oranges and pineapples, in our certification programme."