New initiative embraces ackee as vital export food
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is taking a bold step towards strengthening Jamaica’s position in the global food market by placing a spotlight on ackee as a pivotal export crop under the New FACE (Food Security, Agribusiness Development, Climate Change Technologies, Export Expansion) of Food Initiative.
Ackee, an iconic Jamaican fruit, is set to play a leading role in enhancing food security, promoting sustainable agriculture and stimulating economic growth.
Speaking at a stakeholders meeting on Friday, Agriculture Minister Floyd Green shared, “as a part of the New FACE of Food Initiative, ackee has been identified as a crop with immense export potential. With its unique flavour, versatility, and growing international demand, ackee is increasingly becoming a favoured choice for global consumers seeking exotic and nutritious options.”
The minister noted that “In 2022 alone, Jamaica’s export of ackee generated revenue of approximately US$33,026 for fresh ackee and an impressive US$24.9 million for canned ackee, signifying the crop’s growing importance in the international market.”
To boost production and enhance food security, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is strategically focusing on the establishment of organised ackee orchards. Ackee trees can be grown in all parishes of Jamaica, with St Elizabeth and Clarendon recognised as key locations for organised orchard development. Through this targeted approach, the agriculture ministry aims to optimise yields, promote sustainable practices, and support farmers in adopting green and climate-resilient techniques.
To achieve the ambitious goals of the New FACE of Food Initiative and make Jamaica a global leader in ackee production and export, the ministry is actively seeking collaboration with private investors and agricultural entrepreneurs. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) offer an opportunity to combine the Government’s expertise and resources with private sector innovation and investment, fostering a dynamic ecosystem that can drive ackee production to new heights.
Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining Floyd Green remarked, “ackee is not only a beloved part of our cultural heritage but also a valuable export commodity that holds the key to our food security and economic prosperity. By joining forces with the private sector through PPPs, we can create a sustainable and competitive ackee industry that benefits our farmers, boosts rural development, and positions Jamaica prominently on the global culinary map.”
As part of the initiative, the ministry is offering attractive investment incentives to stimulate growth in the ackee industry. These incentives are designed to support both established and new players in the agricultural sector, providing critical resources such as technical assistance, training programmes, and financial support for equipment and infrastructure development.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries invites all stakeholders, investors, and farming communities to embrace this opportunity to shape a prosperous future for Jamaica through the growth and global expansion of ackee production.