Increasing The Export Capacity Of Micro And Small Agro-Processors Using The Cluster Approach Project
The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) is implementing a EUR197,130 project to assist MSMEs involved in agro-processing to positively impact exports. The Increasing the Export Capacity of Micro and Small Agro-Processors Using the Cluster Approach Project financed by the European Union (EU) and supervised by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) will provide training to farmers, entrepreneurs and JBDC staff, improved infrastructure, additional services and systems at the JBDC managed resource centre and incubator to benefit agro-processors. The aim of the initiative is to actively grow exports nationally in keeping with development targets for the sector. This will lead to economic growth and additional opportunities for MSMEs and greater economic empowerment for women. Gender is mainstreamed in this project and underpins the project components which seek to increase the economic prospects of women and girls in the sector and awareness of gender related concerns in all initiatives.
EPA and CSME Standby Facility
The project will aid in the commercialisation of elements along the value chain and contribute to the growth of the agro-processing sector. This will be achieved by providing participants along the value chain with resources and knowledge to satisfy the standards for their outputs to enter target markets in the region and beyond. Activities to be effected include the training of farmers and manufacturers who provide inputs and products on the acceptable practices for provision of safe and high quality products, establishing and exploiting the benefits of an agro-processing cluster and its associated benefits. Agro-processers and farmers with the production of high value agriculture will be able to increase crop quality, consolidate operations in the sector including marketing, research and machinery while also lowering transaction costs. During implementation the JBDC will oversee:
- Renovation and upgrade of its existing agro-processing food incubator in compliance with an identified food safety management standard
- Procurement and installation of equipment at the facility
- Implementation of pre-requisite actions for food technology incubator FSSC22000 certification
- Training and capacity building for JBDC staff and stakeholders, primary producers and agro-processors on Good Agricultural Practices, Good Manufacturing Practices, compliance with, and management of the export-oriented supply chain.
- Capacity building activities for the agro-processing cluster and primary producers on business cluster dynamics and business development
- Brand development and market promotion.
The project was approved for implementation by the EPA and CSME Standby Facility Steering Committee in 2021. The EPA and CSME Standby Facility (also known as the CARIFORUM-European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) Standby Facility for Capacity Building) is a EUR 8.75 million programme financed by the European Development Fund (EDF) being managed by CDB to support projects in Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago (CARIFORUM). It is intended to build capacity in the region and better position businesses to trade within CARIFORUM and the European Union.