EPA $1b project aims to boost Jamaican exportsMonday, June 06, 2016 > 10:54:46
Jamaica is expected to benefit significantly from the implementation of the $1-billion (€7.25 million) European Union (EU)-funded Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) project.
The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) is implementing the two-phase project and aims to create an enabling environment that supports increased compliance in agriculture and agribusiness exports.
Phase one (EPA I) seeks to increase export competitiveness and food safety and security for Jamaican products; provide laboratory equipment and updated measures for improved testing of products; and also staff training to facilitate these engagements.
Project cycle management specialist with the EU Unit, Marjorie Stair, says agriculture, industry and commerce are among the primary sectors expected to benefit, with the anticipated overall long-term outcome being economic growth.
In noting the “great demand’ for fresh produce globally, Stair said Jamaica has been identified as one of the countries capable of meeting this need.
In this regard, she said focus is initially being placed on increasing exports to Europe, one of the largest global markets.
Stair pointed out that the project inputs should result in a “natural increase” in local production, “which benefits consumers and producers in Europe, and developing countries”.
“This will lead to a boost in employment in farming and the manufacturing industry, giving access to a wider range of good-quality products and a reduction in local prices,” she added.