Work advanced on essential oils incubator as Jamaica seeks place in lucrative industry - Dunn

The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) is well advanced with implementing an Essential Oils Incubator, which will provide manufacturing capacity and position Jamaica to tap into a growing, lucrative industry.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Dr Norman Dunn, gave the update during his recent contribution to the Sectoral Debate at Gordon House.

“During the 2021/22 financial year, the JBDC built out the facility and procured equipment to fully establish the 2,800-square-foot incubator. Market research has been completed to identify the essential oils which will be produced,” Dunn shared.

“Additionally, we have engaged with supporting partners and stakeholders to finalise the project components and ensure the success of the incubator. The incubator will be operationalised in the second quarter of this fiscal year,” he added.

Meanwhile, Dunn noted that as the Government continues to focus on building the resilience of the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) sector, consideration has been given to the fact that during the COVID-19 pandemic, many were unable to move their businesses to the digital space as they were constrained by a lack of capacity and access to capital for investment in digital technology products and services.

“With this in mind, the Ministry (of Industry, Investment and Commerce) has engaged the European Union Delegation to Jamaica, and the PIanning Institute of Jamaica to design a digital transformation support programme for MSMEs. This is an important component of a broader European Union (EU) programme for Jamaica which will include the education and information technology sectors,” Dunn said.

He explained that the Digital Transformation Support Programme, which is under development for MSMEs, has three core components:

• Digitisation, to transition MSMEs from paper-based to electronic information.

• Digitization, to transform MSME business processes from manual to electronic.

• Digital transformation, to allow MSMEs to leverage technologies to build new business systems.

Dunn said a technical team at the ministry is working closely with the EU delegation and the PIOJ, to have the programme implemented in the 2023/2024 financial year.

“We express our gratitude to the European Union delegation to Jamaica for this special support, as well as for their continued assistance to the MSME sector,” Dunn said.

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