Farmers across the island are being encouraged to become certified in the production of fresh produce.
Part of this certification process involves the use of safety and personal protective equipment.
On Thursday, the National Authorizing Office handed over $30,000 worth of equipment to the Bureau of Standards which will then go to farmers once they have participated in a training workshop to use the equipment.
The equipment is funded by the European Union under the Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM) Program.
“My friends this gesture may look simple, but I can assure you it is an integral part of the total development taking place within the agriculture sector in Dominica. The BAM Programme through the office of the NAO takes pride in facilitating the development of agriculture and we will continue to play that role collaboratively with the support of the Government of Dominica.”
Director of Agriculture, Ricky Brumant says this will allow farmers to become more competitive on regional and international markets.
“Our planning; our strategic outlook, points to building a farmer that is sound; a farmer that provides food that is good for human consumption; who will help the competitive edge of the country; do things on farm to increase revenue, income and ensure his family’s needs are met and farmer who will easily accept the process of certification.”
Director of the Bureau of Standards, Dr. Steve John, encourages farmers to take advantage of the opportunity to expand their markets.
According to him, the use of heavy chemicals has affected the produce of countries such as Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Martin, therefore, Dominica has an opportunity to supply products to these countries.
He says the main goal of PROPEL is “To provide small farmers to sell to the higher end of the market, so the Canadians [have invested a lot] in the Caribbean to get small farmers ready so they can have the quality and safety requirements to sell produce in the region.”