Grenada, the sole Caribbean nation with approval for exporting fresh soursop to the U.S. market, faces challenges in consistent high-quality production. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Fisheries and Cooperatives, is addressing these issues through a two-year project. Focused on promoting competitive, sustainable, and resilient national value chain development, the project targets the soursop and sea moss sectors.

During a weeklong mission in Grenada from November 20 to 25, 2023, the FAO, in collaboration with public and private sector stakeholders, conducted comprehensive soursop production training. Dr. Abel Rebou├žas, an FAO Production Expert, delivered training on good agricultural practices, covering hand pollination, pruning, and fertilizers to encourage maximum yields.

The FAO team also assessed the state of the main nursery and propagation station, offering recommendations for upgrades to better support the demand for planting materials. Stakeholders participated in a workshop to validate a five-year Soursop Upgrading Strategy, focusing on improving technical capacities, expanding commercial production, enhancing mid-supply chain functions and marketing, and strengthening support services and governance.

Mr. Juan Cheaz Pelaez, FAO Trade and Markets Officer for the Caribbean, highlighted Grenada's unique advantage in the niche export market for soursop. The efforts aim to build knowledge and technical capacity for sustainable, high-quality production, ensuring continued access to export markets. FAO envisions the soursop industry contributing to Grenada's transition to a diversified and sustainable economy, supporting resilient economic growth in the coming years.

Source: antiguaobserver.com