by Linda Straker
- Soursop exports to Miami are done on Wednesday each week
- Farmers who have soursop are urged to contact MNIB
- Volcanic eruption has destroyed St Vincent’s agriculture sector
- Scientists say eruption can go on for months
The Marketing and National Importing Board (MNIB) is currently seeking to purchase increased volumes of produce from local farmers because it has resumed exporting to the USA. At the same time MNIB is getting increased requests from regional territories who depended on St Vincent and the Grenadines for root crops and other fresh produce.
“We are currently exporting soursop to the USA and from inquiries, there is a great demand for the fruit not just in the USA but in the region,” said Afia Joseph who was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of MNIB in February 2021.
Exports to Miami are done on Wednesday each week and farmers who have the product are urged to contact MNIB. Speaking about the regional inquiries, Joseph is not certain if the sudden increase in inquiry is linked directly to the disruption caused by the La Soufriere Volcano in St Vincent.
“We are seeing increased inquiries for our fresh produce from regional territories and at present we are preparing to export a shipment of vegetables and fruits to Barbados,” said Joseph. The UWI Seismic Research Centre has confirmed that Barbados is one of the regional jurisdictions that are affected by ash fall from the volcano which began erupting violently last Friday.
“This demand for regional fresh food and vegetable is now providing an opportunity for farmers in Grenada to not only supply the local market but regional markets, and I sure hope that they are prepared to work along with us as the opportunity will bring benefit to us,” said Joseph.
St Vincent and the Grenadines exports thousands of pounds of root crops and other vegetables to neighbouring territories. However, the disruption caused by the eruption of the volcano has destroyed the agriculture sector.
Scientists say that the eruption can go on for months and it is therefore unclear when the island will have its agriculture sector producing for export.