Jamaica to export bananas to Trinidad
Jamaica will, as of Thursday December 21, begin exporting bananas to Trinidad and Tobago. Initially, one container load of the fruit will be shipped to the twin island republic each week.
The move is part of an export thrust and augurs well for small farmers in particular who are being encouraged to grow more of the fruit.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture there has been a steady increase in banana production since 2013 with yields moving from over 33,000 metric tonnes to nearly 59,000 metric tonnes in 2016.
And exports have increased, moving from 78 tonnes in 2013 to 411 tonnes in 2016 with earnings of US$47.7 million. The growth followed the devastation suffered by the industry as a result of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
The Ministry says European Union-funded capacity building training has led to a 7.5 per cent increase in productivity in the banana industry.
It has moved from 15 tonnes per hectare in 2011 to 18,000 tonnes.
Additionally, the production of bananas and plantains has increased by 26 per cent in 2016.