Governor General Dame Cécile La Grenade recently unveiled the five pillars of the Marketing and National Importing Board’s (MNIB) 6 year strategic plan at the Spice Basket complex. The plan was an internal project of the MNIB two years in the making, spearheaded by former General Manager Fitzroy James.
The pillars unveiled were: Increase in Product supply stream; Institutional Strengthening; Viable and Robust Export Sector, Development of the Agro Process Industry and Development of a strong meat industry. With this guiding principal document, the MNIB seeks to become more profitable and to develop the agriculture industry in Grenada.
Chairman of the Board Samuel Andrew said that 17 June marked a significant turning point in the history and life of the MNIB, because it was the day to implement a plan that will change the agricultural community. “This plan as presented today is a plan that will position the board and put its decision in line with the national agenda, so that it can play its role in national development. This plan will also increase the board’s relevance to national and global development,” he said, explaining that the bottom line will be profit maximisation.
Expanding of the plan, CEO Ruel Edwards said that in the area of export, the hope is that by 2020 the MNIB will have a strong overseas presence in the diaspora market and export 2.5 million pounds of produce per year. The plan also provides for a well-developed value added sector, and for reaching a target of 25% increase in exports using 2014 as its baseline.
One of the new areas of focus will be the area of meat production and this is expected to be done in partnership with livestock farmers and organisations whose focus and membership is in the meat industry. “We will be working to realise a 20% reduction in fresh meat imports and at the same time export meats to other parts of the region,” Edwards told the farmers.
Critical to achieving the plan, in particular its desire to export to the USA market, is the need for the MNIB to have a safety system within its working environment. Edwards said that currently no such system exists and this will be given priority. “The intention is that by 31 December 2015 the MNIB will have a safety system, as this will give us the break to export our produce the USA and other markets.”
By Linda Straker