An agency of the Ministry of Industry, Investment & Commerce, the JBDC is Jamaica’s premier business development organisation working collaboratively with government, private sector, as well as, academic, research and international communities.



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14 Camp Road, Kingston

Kingston, Jamaica – The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) is encouraging farmers to increase production of crops to supply agro-processors. The agency says local agro-processors are innovating Jamaican traditional snacks with a healthy twist to capitalise on the global consumer trend demanding healthier foods.  In 2023, the newly renovated Agro-processing Incubator at the JBDC’s Incubator & Resource Centre (IRC) facilitated the production of J$22 million worth of agro-processed products.

Colin Porter, Technical Services Manager at the JBDC’s IRC, says, “We are seeing generally a healthier focus on food production.  Flavour profiles have widened for example persons Agro-processors who produce Coconut cakes and Roasted peanuts are adding flavours to them.  We are seeing spicy-flavoured peanuts, jerk-flavoured peanuts.”

Continuing, he said, “We see Agro-processors adding fruits and other nuts to the Coconut Drops and other traditional snacks, while trying to make them healthier in terms of less sugar contents and things of that nature.  So, we see a definite trend towards healthier, more innovative versions of some of our traditional snacks and soups.”

Stronger Link in the Manufacturing and Agriculture Value Chain

The JBDC has been empowering manufacturers to develop innovative products at high quality. This comes amidst the Ministry of Industry, Investment & Commerce’s push to increase exports of locally-manufactured products. 

However, Porter sees more in stock for the Agro-processing Industry if a greater relationship is developed along the value chain. “Agro-processing needs to reach the stage where there is full exploitation of the value chain.  We need to see more conversion of the raw materials to value-added products. We need to see more crops being planted to supply those involved in Agro-processing,” he said.

He added that, “For farmers to produce the type of raw materials Agro-processors need, farmers and processors would have to synchronise timelines in the delivery of materials. We need to move away from the issue of seasonality for some crops as this may not tie into demand peaks.”

The Pumpkin Punch Mix by Fitzroy Anderson’s Food Processing is the latest addition to the JBDC cluster brand, Jamaica Harvest after winning 1st place in the inaugural Jamaica Harvest Specialty Food Challenge at the official opening of the JBDC’s Agro-processing Incubator in 2023.

With a total of 290 Ago-processor’s accessing 1634 technical consultations, including product development, prototype development and label & packaging design, manufacturers were able to develop products such as snacks, seasonings, sauces, spices, soups, condiments, and beverages. 

The facility was developed as part of the Increasing the Export Capacity of Micro and Small Agro-Processors Using the Cluster Approach project sponsored by the European Union (EU), managed by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), and implemented by the JBDC. The Incubator was developed to actively grow exports nationally in keeping with development targets for the country. The Agro-processing Incubator is equipped to produce goods at internationally acceptable standards.

The JBDC is an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Investment & Commerce.



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