Dominican agricultural officials say the country is positioning itself to make maximum use of funds being made available to ten banana-exporting nations by the European Union.
The funding of is intended to provide additional development assistance to help the countries involved adjust to new market conditions, following the erosion of the preferential market access that was previously enjoyed by the ACP group of countries through trade with Europe.
Director of Agriculture Ricky Brumant says under the BAM arrangement, Dominica will seek to make its banana production and exports more competitive, while focusing on other areas of agriculture as well.
Stakeholders in the agricultural sector were meeting on Tuesday, to help ensure that “what we say we are going to do with the money is going to bring to the country maximum benefits”.
Brumant said also that another priority would be to “place the agricultural sector, the banana sub-sector, on a plain that we can enhance competitiveness and of course move our non-banana programmes or crop programmes, production programmes to a level to where it can ensure that we are competitive not only on the regional market but also the international market”.
The agriculture official says the BAM funds being allocated to Dominica will make a significant difference.
“From a government standpoint enhancing trade is important, ensuring food security is important, these are some of the broad areas that we will look at,” Brumant said.
He confirmed that a substantial amount of the available funds is expected to go to the banana industry, to make it more competitive.