Jamaica will export its first shipment of mangoes to the United States (US) in May 2019.
Mango exports will be facilitated through the Mango Irradiation Programme, according to the Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, and Fisheries Minister, Hon Audley Shaw.
Under the programme, the Ministry will be working with the United States Department of Agriculture-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (USDA-APHIS) to ensure compliance with the US import requirements, which stipulate that mangoes be treated by irradiation or hot water emersion, prior to being brought in.
“As an incentive, the Ministry will provide assistance by waiving the fees associated with inspection, storage and usage of the plant quarantine/produce inspection facilities for a one-year period [from] May 2019 to May 2020,” Mr. Shaw informed.
He added that “only approved mango exporters to the United States will be eligible for this waiver, at an estimated value of $1 million per exporter for the year”.
Three farms have already been approved to participate under the programme, with another 12 on the verge of approval.
The Minister was making his 2019/20 Sectoral Debate presentation in the House of Representatives on April 23, under the theme ‘On the Road to Prosperity…Growing Jamaica’s Industries’.
Meanwhile, Mr. Shaw indicated that a Fruit Tree Programme Unit will be established to commence an initiative that he announced last year, to plant five million fruit trees over a five-year period.