The Commonwealth of Dominica is making significant investments to build capacity in the agriculture sector. The country, which is home to rainforests, abundant flora and fauna, has rich fertile soil that helps support plant life. Components such as the soil, climate, topography, and location give Dominica the edge with their crop growing, and as the demand for organic food products increases globally, Dominica is prioritising the agriculture sector.
Farmers in Dominica grow a diversity of crops – these include bananas, sweet potato, plantain, citrus fruits, vegetables, coffee, patchouli, aloe vera, cut flowers, mangoes, guavas, and papayas. This year, during the presentation of the 2022-2023 budget, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced various measures for the upliftment of the agriculture sector. He advised that the government aims to increase the agriculture contribution to 700 million Eastern Caribbean Dollars by 2030.
Prime Minister Skerrit also outlined that government will invest an initial EC$ 1 million in the provision of greenhouses, insect netting, saran netting (also referred to as cover material), equipment and irrigation systems.
He further announced that all the investments would ensure that fresh fruit and vegetables are available and affordable throughout the year which will have a direct impact in the reduction of the food import bill as well as enhancing food security.
"Government will continue the propagation programme to ensure a minimum of 600,000 seedlings are propagated as well as distributed to farmers at a subsidised price as an incentive for production. Government's propagation capabilities will be complemented by the increased capacity," said the Prime Minister.
Furthermore, to enhance banana production, the government of Dominica will allocate special funds in the amount of EC$ 1 million, which will support large banana farmers. The government plans to provide further assistance to farmers by making an additional EC$ 5 million available to DEXIA as a revolving fund for the procurement of farming produce. This funding will offer packaging solutions to enhance the market needs for quality, price and consistency.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced that the government will focus an additional EC$ 1 million in support to young farmers and agriculture entrepreneurs, which will include grants for start-up capital, labour and supplies to eligible parties.
For more information:
Commonwealth of Dominica
Tel.: +27 828215664