The Grenada government has warned nutmeg farmers that failure to adhere to international regulations could have a negative impact for the local industry.
“I want you to place greater emphasis in the area of food safety, as there is a move a foot by the European Union and the United States of America to place more stringent requirements on exporters on matters as it relates to food safety, traceability etc,’ Agriculture Minister Yolande Bain-Horsford told members of the Grenada Nutmeg Association(GGNA).
“It is therefore crucial that the GCNA facilities must be configured to enhance food safety in Nutmeg,”: she told the delegates to the GGCA annual general meeting.
Bain-Horsford said that the GCNA had recorded significant achievements over the past year including an EC$1.24 million (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) surplus, clearing an overdraft facility and increasing regional markets for nutmegs.
“Looking ahead, the GCNA needs to among others things create a special fund to act as a buffer to support advance prices when world market prices are low,” she suggested.
The highlight of the meeting was the announcement by GCNA chairman, Leo Cato that farmers will receive a one million dollar bonus payment this year. He said this is because of the revenue gained from trading with new and traditional partners in both the regional and international markets.
Leo described 2017 as a challenging year and urged farmers to place greater focus on quality and diversification.
“Going forward in 2018 quality must be a major issue for us, every farmer must take this very seriously. It means the very survival of the association. Going forward in 2018 we are therefore going to diversify our business,” Cato said.