Dominica is seeking to increase its market share in the neighbouring island of Martinique.
A team of officials headed by the Hon. Trade Minister, Ian Douglas visited Martinique last weekend seeking to establish relations with supermarkets in that country.
Hon. Minister for Agriculture, Johnson Drigo was a part of the team.
“We have always supported and appreciated the work done by the hucksters to get tons of our products out of Dominica but the time has to us to attempt to take advantage of the high-end market in the island; that is hotels and supermarkets.”
The Hon. Minister for Agriculture made mention of the work currently being undertaken in Dominica to deliver the quality of products that these supermarkets require.
He continued, “We also explained the hard work which we’re doing to increase the quality and the packaging of our produce and the hard work which we’re doing with our farmers to get them certified.
“As we speak, the opportunity exists for us to export 5-10 of any of our produce [types] to the main supermarkets of markets. We’re referring to dasheen, yams, Tania, peppers, citrus, vegetables etc.”
Government is in the processing of opening and equipping its packhouses which will facilitate proper packaging of export.
Dominica Export and Import Agency (DEXIA) is also increasing the national acreage of plantain, dasheen and hot peppers to supply these markets.
The Hon. Minister says Dominica is prepared to take advantage of the opportunities.
“Our farmers,” he added, “have been doing well. We will continue giving them the support they need. Government is preparing a structure to ensure that there is adequate fertilizer on the island at all times. This is one of the hurdles which the farmers have encountered because sometimes there are shortages. We will ensure that the prices are attractive so farmers can source this fertilizer at their leisure.
“As you know, Government is also working on the purchase of a vessel so that we can export more of our produce.”
Plans are also in the making to have discussions with Barbados and Trinidad.