US partners with Jamaica to revitalise local spice sector
United States Ambassador to Jamaica, N Nick Perry (2nd left) plants spice seedlings alongside, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining Floyd Green, President and CEO for ACDI/VOCA Sylvia Megret, while US Department of Agriculture Food for Progress Jamaica Spices project, ACDI/VOCA, Dr Ronald Blake Chief of Party looks on.  

KINGSTON, Jamaica - The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and ACDI/VOCA officially launched the US Department of Agriculture Food for Progress Jamaica Spices project at the AC Hotel in Kingston, recently.

The event highlighted the project’s plans for the next five years to support pimento, ginger, and turmeric value chains.

The event also celebrated Jamaican spices and its importance in Jamaica’s economy, showcasing growers and their products.

Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining, Floyd Green and the US Ambassador to Jamaica, Ambassador N Nick Perry, who participated in the event, providing special remarks that highlighted the importance of the spice sector.

This initiative, funded by USDA, will support 7,500 farmers and agricultural market systems, including women, youth, and other marginalised groups, create a more diversified and vibrant spice sector and contribute to a 50 per cent increase in ginger, turmeric, and pimento through improved planting material and management practices.

“The launch has brought together the entirety of the spice value chain under one roof,” said Chief of Party for the US Department of Agriculture Food for Progress Jamaica Spices, Dr Ronald Blake.

“This event marks the start of partnerships with key Jamaica agricultural agencies, such as the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA), Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining, that will lead to a stronger spice sector and recognition of Jamaican spices around the globe,” Dr Blake added.

The US Department of Agriculture Food for Progress Jamaica Spices project is a five-year project that will revitalise the spice sector to meet the existing export and domestic demand for turmeric, ginger, and pimento. The project will result in a more diversified, inclusive, sustainable, and climate-resilient spice sector, reaching US$20 million in sales and US$13.5 million in annual export sales.

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