Next month, Jamaica will export its first shipment of mangoes to the United States, says Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, and Fisheries Minister, Audley Shaw. Export is being facilitated through the Mango Irradiation Programme.
Under the programme, the Ministry works with the United States Department of Agriculture-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (USDA-APHIS) to ensure compliance with the US import requirements, which stipulate that mangoes be treated by irradiation or hot water immersion, prior to being brought in.
“As an incentive, the Ministry will provide assistance by waiving the fees associated with inspection, storage and usage of the plant quarantine/produce inspection facilities for a one-year period [from] May 2019 to May 2020,” Shaw said, adding: “Only approved mango exporters to the United States will be eligible for this waiver, at an estimated value of $1 million per exporter for the year.”
Three farms have already been approved to participate under the programme, with another 12 on the verge of approval. Meanwhile, Shaw indicated that a Fruit Tree Programme Unit will be established to commence an initiative that he announced last year, to plant five million fruit trees over a five-year period.
“We are exploring grant funding, including the UN Green Climate Fund, to boost the programme. The Unit will be staffed by the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), the Research and Development Division of the Ministry and the 4-H Clubs,” he said.