The PPP/C Administration continues to invest in the processing of ginger and turmeric and the production of citrus.
As such, $153 million has been earmarked in the 2023 budget to improve processing capacity at Hosororo, Parika, and Linden/Soesdyke this year.
This improved mechanisation will target over 300 metric tonnes of the output of ginger and turmeric and decrease drying time from 3-5 days to 8 hours per day, directly enhancing productivity.
Additionally, the government will increase seedling distribution to farmers by 100,000 to increase citrus production.
The government remains committed to boosting output and productivity through increased acreage and technological use, diversification into new crops and varieties, promotion of high-value and value-added products, including agro-processing, and facilitating easier access to markets for farmers and consumers.
In 2022, the government increased cultivation by giving farmers 67,997 mixed citrus seedlings (orange, tangerine, lime, and lemon) and over 25,000 kg of ginger and turmeric planting supplies to expand the production of citrus and spices.
In October 2022, Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha highlighted that government will continue to work with farmers to boost the productivity of spices, among other crops.
To boost the production of spices at the Hosororo factory, Region One, Minister Mustapha put into operation several new pieces of machinery to the tune of $9.7 million for the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute’s (NAREI) spice processing plant. These tools include a Vibro sifter, a ginger washer, a ginger slicer, and a ginger grinder.
The government continues to lay the required groundwork to attain food security and meet CARICOM’s target of reducing the food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025.
Food security is also a top priority for the government’s development ambitions.